Photo by Miyo Strong
Unexpectedly, Willa was born with an intracranial teratoma, a large brain tumor. She lived for four spectacular days, and was surrounded only with love during her short life.
During Willa's stay in the NICU, her parents read her the book Willa the Wonderful by Susan Milord. In the book, Willa dreamed of becoming a fairy when she grew up. The theme of fairies continued to surface during and after Willa's life.
To honor Willa, Willa's grannie decided to donate a Christmas tree in her honor to the Festival of Trees. She began making handcrafted fairies out of pipe cleaners, embroidery floss, silk flowers, felt and many natural products such as acorns, twigs, moss and chestnuts. She invited friends and family to join her, and each week the group got together to create the fairies for the tree.
In addition to the fairies, the tree also included handcrafted fairy homes, wands and envelopes filled with the wishes of the fairy makers.
The Fairy Tree was displayed at the 2007 Festival of Trees, and all proceeds from the purchase were donated to Primary Children's Medical Center.