As the producer for the VO Atlanta Voiceover Conference, I’ve had the chance to meet wonderful people from around the world. Sadly, I’ve also come to realize there are many people that have direct, and indirect, experiences with cancer. Anyone familiar with the conference knows we even have an annual scholarship, The Carol Joy Memorial Scholarship, where we provide access to training to those with a desire to work in the area of voice acting.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta about a young girl who has a wish to become a voice actor. In their search to help her, they had come across the conference and wondered if it might be possible for her to be a part of it in some small way.

In April of 2018, Briley was Diagnosed with High-Risk B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia known as ALL.  After seeing her cardiologist due to what we thought we heart related symptoms. At birth, Briley was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot a four-part heart malformation that was corrected by a double bypass open heart surgery. Later at 5 years old, we found that her heart was three times the size of a normal 5-year-old child and her heart would require an additional open heart repair to replace a valve, around the age of  10 or 11. With symptoms showing at 7, we assumed she would need her heart repair earlier than expected, but the symptoms were leukemia and not cardiac. They were devastated. As a family that has already watched their four months old go through and recover from open heart surgery, they were lost when given a leukemia diagnosis for the same child.

It’s our goal to provide a bright spot in Briley’s life and create some positive memories for her to build on.  Briley will be our Jr. Ambassador during the conference where she will be able to assist as a valued part of our team. She will be able to be a champion as she brings a smile to the faces of others. If you see her during the conference, be sure to give her a big smile and a kind word to let her know we see her.

I immediately reached out to some on my team and later decided that we didn’t want to simply put Briley in a youth session and call it a day. The decision was made to invite Briley to the conference, along with her family. The idea is to provide her with a positive experience that introduces her to some of the most wonderful people behind the awesome voices.

I’ve had a chance to speak with Briley’s mother and learn a bit more about her family. As you might imagine, this situation has been a strain on the family in so many ways. So, I’ve committed to making an effort to do our part to help in some way relieve a bit of the strain by supporting their fundraising effort. You can help too by clicking this link and doing what you can to make a difference.

 

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