Brad Pitt, caps and an inspirational patient

> I’m not ashamed to say it. I like Brad Pitt. If it wasn’t for Troy (I’m particularly sensitive about screen adaptations of classic works), I might call him my favorite actor. People tend to think of his looks before his acting, but I think he consistently stretches himself with his roles. He’s a complex guy, and his performances represent all the varied, mysterious aspects of his personality. However, one thing consistently apparent about Pitt is that he is altruistic. Not many movie stars would move to post-Katrina New Orleans, adopt representatives of all the United Nations and/or give their free time to helping out with a program like Caps for Kids. I know about his involvement with the latter, because a patient at Children’s told me so.

Megan Garcia received an autographed baseball cap from Pitt in the mail shortly after learning that she had a brain tumor at age 15. “That meant a lot to me,” Megan said. “I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh! I just got a hat signed by Brad Pitt!’ It just boosted my spirits.’”
Strong spirits have played a big role in Megan’s so-far-successful battle against cancer. She has undergone regular sessions of chemo and radiation at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s the last two years. Her last chemo treatment was in April, and the tumor has been reduced and contained. Although not technically in remission, she is doing very, very well. She even participates on the student council at John Horn High School in Mesquite. This year, she organized a “Wear Your Cap to School Day” for the Mesquite ISD.

Wear Your Cap to School Day is a Caps for Kids initiative dedicated to raising awareness and funds for children battling cancer. Students around the United States are asked to donate $1 in exchange for the right to wear a cap to class. “We (John Horn students) wear uniforms; so, to get to wear a hat is a big deal for us,” Megan said. Megan is still counting the total donations from Mesquite ISD’s day on Oct. 23. More than 10 schools participated.
The money they raised will be used to provide sports memorabillia and celebrity-autographed caps, like the one Megan received from Achilles, to young cancer patients. The hope is that the caps and memorabillia will “give the children the pride, confidence, and strength needed during their fight with cancer” according to the Wear Your Cap to School Day Web page. At least in Megan’s case, that hope seems to be fulfilled, not only for her but through her to the hundreds of fellow cancer patients she helped with her initiative and compassion.

Her story just goes to show the direct and indirect miracles Children’s creates by caring for its patients… And it also kind of makes me want to revisit some old Pitt films, maybe A River Runs Through It.

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