EDIT: We lost Soraya early this morning. Please send all your thoughts to her sweet soul, family and dear friends . . .
I’m sad that I won’t be able to make it to NYC for an event to benefit for the amazing Soraya.
I’m pretty sure I wrote about her this year– about a year after I found out how sick she was. But I can’t find it.
She is a little girl that my friend took care of back in Indiana. I met her when he moved in and I took her a lot of art supplies that I had accumulated from years of teaching arts and crafts with kids. I knew she would enjoy them!
Just a few months later she was diagnosed with a serious tumor.
I first mentioned it back in this post . . .
Here’s what’s written on the cafepress site set up for her:
The art of 8 year-old Soraya Jackson.
She loves you.
In the spring of 2005, our always wonderful, hopping, singing, painting girl was diagnosed with a brain tumor (glioblastoma multiforme).
After many hospitals, in many states, and after more than seven surgeries, she has never complained of her now impaired mobility, sight, independence, and the ability to paint and draw with her right hand; instead, she has taught herself to paint with her left.
She still seems compelled to express the joy she has always felt for life, through her ideas and through colour, and so she continues to paint spontaneous images of happiness.
Soraya never stays blue for long: an inspiration to all who know her. By offering a bit of her through this site, we hope to share some of her joy – and ours, with you.
I think of her so often, though I know her only in the most roundabout of ways.
I will explain briefly. I met an actor while working in a professional theatre. He later went on the 25th Anniversary tour of Hair back in the mid-nineties where he played opposite Luther. I went to see my friend and remember liking Luther and not getting to really chat with him since his family was in town.
Skip ahead almost ten years. I move to Bloomington, Indiana and work in a video store. A coworker and I are talking and discover we both had connection to that tour. And as it turns out he went to high school with and has remained very close to, yes, Luther. My coworker and friend would occasionally work for his family, helping out and watching Soraya. That’s how I met her and Luther’s family.
I am sure this has been a terrible struggle for them. And I feel so powerless, which I am sure they do as well.
It’s why I am sad I can’t at least attend the benefit. It’s one of the ways I would imagine Luther feels he can help and with his friends in the theatre community work proactively on behalf of this bright and talented little girl!
So, if you are in NYC, GO!
You won’t regret it. They have a great lineup and there couldn’t be a better cause.
The Broadway Cast of Rent and Friends Present SONGS FOR SORAYA.
August 27 2006 at 8pm at The Cutting Room 19 West 24th Street. ALL AGES ARE WELCOME!!!!
$25 cash at door also get ready for some amazing Broadway Raffles!!!
Come help RENT’s Luther Creek raise money to help his 9 years old niece Soraya Jackson with her fight against brain cancer.
Along with Luther Creek will be Daphne Rubin Vega (RENT), Eden Espinosa (WICKED), Kevin Cahoon (THE WEDDING SINGER), Amy Spanger (THE WEDDING SINGER), Julie Danao (LENNON), Christian Anderson (Ave Q),Antonique Smith (RENT) most of the current cast of RENT. Matt Caplan(RENT,The Broadway Boys, Chester Gregory (Tarzan),Jenna Leigh Green(Wicked),plus many many more
If you are unable to attend, donations can be mailed to:
Checks made to: Jared Rubenstein
Mail to: Luther Creek
c/o The Producing Office
145 West 45th Street 7th Floor
New York, NY 10036