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Lilli was just 4 years old when she woke up one morning with her eyes crossed.  A few days later, she was diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumor that was pressing on her optic nerve and growing quickly.  She needed chemotherapy and began a year of weekly treatments in February 2019. 

As her first appointment approached, Lilli was scared. To help her feel a bit more at ease, her mom encouraged her to pick her own outfit.

She chose to wear a yellow Belle Princess dress from Beauty and the Beast. 

Every nurse, aide, and doctor greeted her with so many smiles and so much excitement that, for the next 51 weeks, Lilli’s princess dresses became her suit of armor.  They gave her the courage to make it through her treatments and frequent trips to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  The night before each appointment, she spent time picking out the perfect dress to wear to make each visit a surprise for the amazing care team at UPMC Children's. 

Lilli's dresses evolved from a way to feel at ease into a way to share “Princess joy” with everyone around her. 

At Costumes for Courage, our goal is to continue to share the joy that Lilli’s dresses brought to other children and families in similar situations.  Our hope is that, by providing costumes to children receiving treatment for or facing significant medical conditions, we can give them the extra bit of strength and courage they need to get through a difficult time. 

Lilli continues to do great and we are proud to say that, since launching in October 2020, we have shipped over 1000 costumes to children all over the world (with many, many more to come)!

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