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Rochester nonprofit Brighter Tomorrows brightens Mother's Day through flower-planting event

Brighter Tomorrows and Olmsted County Master Gardener volunteers taught kids with cancer and childhood cancer survivors how to pot plants and made crafts to give to mom.

brighter tomorrows flowers
Olmsted County Master Gardeners volunteers pot flowers alongside kids with childhood cancer and their families Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Garten Marketplatz in Byron.
Abby Sharpe / Post Bulletin
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BYRON — Christian Bos was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago at the age of 3-1/2. After his diagnosis, an organization called Brighter Tomorrows reached out to his parents to offer support.

“It was the missing piece of the puzzle within our support system,” said Katy Bos, Christian’s mom.

Katy describes the organization as a “group that you don’t have to explain yourself to.” Brighter Tomorrows supports families from the beginning of a cancer diagnosis through treatment and beyond. It became a second family to the Boses, a role the group has taken on for many families going through childhood cancer.

brighter tomorrows flowers
Christian Bos pots flowers with help from master gardener Jane Barton Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Garten Marketplatz in Byron. Christian didn't mind that this pot had some cracks because "it's just a bucket."
Abby Sharpe / Post Bulletin

Dana Bergner, the operations coordinator at Brighter Tomorrows, said the group offers a place where families “can gather with this feeling of normalcy, which they don’t get very often.”

Families did experience some normalcy while watching their children plant flowers and make crafts for Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Garten Marketplatz in Byron.

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The Olmsted County Master Gardener Volunteers showed the kids the best way to plant flowers in pots and set up stations where kids created art with their feet or handprints.

Master Gardener Jane Barton said they had about 13 volunteers ready to plant with the kids. The group also planted flowers in 10 pots earmarked for delivery to bereaved mothers who lost a child to cancer.

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Bergner said hosting this event around Mother’s Day is a way to support mothers during what can be a tough day for moms.

“I think moms have a tough time when their kids are sick,” she said. “Whether they’re currently dealing with a sick child or their child is well, but they’re still waiting for that next scan, this is just something that helps brighten their day and is something we can do to take the pressure off of them.”

True to the organization’s name, Saturday was a brighter day for moms there. For Lisa Gifford, who is a master gardener and mom to Hunter, a childhood cancer survivor, gatherings like Saturday’s event are special.

“We’re giving back to a group that gave us so much,” she said.

Katy said events like this, which was helped by donations from master gardener volunteers, Sargent’s Nursery and Lowe’s, highlight the amazing community here.

“It just restores my faith in humanity,” she said.

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Abby Sharpe joined the Post Bulletin in February 2022 after graduating from Arizona State University with a sports journalism degree. While at ASU, she created short- and long-form stories for audio and digital. Readers can reach Abby at 507-285-7723 or asharpe@postbulletin.com.
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