Dainty Warrior Project
4322 W. School St., Chicago IL, 60641
To support families during childhood cancer treatment. Our desire is to provide gifts of flight and/or other travel accommodations as well as meeting basic family needs in the home while their little warriors are in the midst of their cancer fight.
During the Dainty Warrior Project’s first year as a charity, we have supported over 20 families with little warriors battling pediatric cancer. As all their stories offer hope and inspiration, sadly, not all the warriors survive their illness. For those children and families, we strive to continue supporting these families through the most challenging of times.
The Dainty Warrior Project is a non-profit charitable organization supporting families confronted with pediatric cancer. Ania, the Dainty Warrior, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer, beginning when she was 3 1/2 years. During this time, Ania’s mother Erica Moriarty began chronicling Ania’s fight with cancer through a blog titled “Dainty Warrior.” In this blog, Erica captured the successes and challenges cancer brought forth to Ania from details of treatment to the everyday sickness chemotherapy can inflict.
Three months into treatment, the Moriarty family collaborated on a painting, now called the “Guy’s Rocket Ship” by drawing the image with pencil, outlined with a permanent marker on canvas, and then Ania did the rest by painting the rocket ship with hues she created herself using acrylic paint. After this first creation, Ania found a wonderful distraction as she battled cancer and continued to create more and more paintings. To help pay for her medical bills, Erica and Michael began selling the prints of these paintings to offset the rising costs of treatment.
In March 2014, our fears became a reality. Ania’s tumor was growing too fast and we needed to act quickly. We had to travel to Philadelphia immediately. Graciously, Keri Wright stepped in and helped Ania get to her treatment without placing even more monetary burden on her family. After the surgery to remove her eye, Ania had 6 months of chemotherapy to ensure she would be cancer free. Fortunately, the treatment was successful and Ania is in remission.
Once Ania’s battled ended, we realized how lucky we were to be able to support ourselves through the sale of the Dainty Warrior paintings and from support from friends like Keri. Realizing how many families desperately need support beyond paying for medical bills, we decided to duplicate the support we received and share it with families battling pediatric cancer throughout the country.
Looking back at old pictures of Ania, we can see the tumor in the back of her eye since she was a newborn. If the retinoblastoma was diagnosed from the onset, most likely treatment would have been a laser to remove the tumor while saving her vision and eye. Since our pediatric doctor from a critically acclaimed hospital who has retinoblastoma in their family didn’t notice the cancer, we have now made a mission to advocate for pediatric doctors to check for this cancer with a simple test by dimming the lights, and flashing a light from a distance to see any reflection from the tumor.