September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and also Alegra’s birthday month.
In September 2011, beautiful little girl Alegra was born to Sue-Ellan and her husband Marino Vasiliou. She was the most incredible little girl loved by all.
Just days before Christmas in 2016, Alegra was diagnosed with brain cancer and had her first initial tumour removed by world renowned brain surgeon Charlie Teo.
After the tumour was removed, she had six weeks of radiotherapy. During treatment, she had just started kindergarten at PLC in Croydon and she never missed a day.
Alegra never let the disease define her and continued to live a vibrant life like any other kindergarten student.
In just under 10 months, she sadly lost her battle with brain cancer.
In Alegra’s memory, her parents established the ‘Little Legs Foundation’ and have worked tirelessly since then to raise as much awareness and funds to help save the lives of as many young children as possible, who are also faced with the same disease their gorgeous little girl tried hard to overcome.
And they aren’t alone on the journey. The Little Legs Foundation ambassadors are Sid Tapia (artist), Emmanuel Tsakiris (House of Emmanuele) and Alex Perry (fashion designer).
“We are so very proud of the Little Legs Foundation and its success in such a short amount of time. In memory of our beautiful daughter Alegra we hope to help as many families as we can dealing with such a devastating reality. We feel honoured to have our ambassadors, they are all highly regarded in their fields and help us create much needed awareness for childhood brain cancer, which kills more children in Australia than any other disease. We are grateful to them for their time, love and support,” Alegra’s mother Sue-Ellan said.
Little Legs Foundation has partnered with the Charlie Teo Foundation to fund the best brains to beat childhood brain cancer.
“We have created the Alegra’s Army Grant with the Charlie Teo Foundation, we fund it fully and they administer it. To date we have committed over $1.14 million to the grant and we are currently funding two research projects. Charlie was Alegra’s surgeon, we think he is magnificent and very happy to call him our friend,” Sue-Ellan continued.
In its 2nd year, Little Legs Foundation celebrates Alegra’s birthday in 2020 with the ‘Coffee for a Cure’ initiative.
Over 80+ cafes across Sydney are participating in this event on Friday 18th & Saturday 19th September, 2020
$1 from each LLF coffee cup sold will be donated to the foundation.
“We were so overwhelmed by the support of local cafes last year. They embraced us, Alegra & her story. We were hesitant this year due to the impact Covid has had on the industry, however decided to leave it up to the cafes to opt out if they needed to. Last year we had 55 cafes with 12000 cups sold to them. This year we have 81 cafes and have sold out of the 20000 cups! We hope to continue raising awareness whilst also keeping Alegra’s memory alive.”
Alegra’s mother Sue-Ellan has also been nominated for a Westfield Local Hero Grant, awarded to community role models whose work or activities create positive benefits for others.
She told GCT that she is honoured to be recognised, but it was also a surprise. “I was quite embarrassed to be honest. When we were invited to Westfield Hurstville to see the Installation in centre court I found myself getting very emotional. I think seeing myself in print amongst other worthy contenders brought me to tears. To have been acknowledged for an award I am truly grateful for. Our lives will forever remain bitter sweet but to know we are making a difference in our daughters name I am happy to commend myself.”
“Receiving the grant would further cement our purpose moving forward. To know we have the backing of our community would give us great strength to continue to persevere. The grant would help us continue our work and help families in need.”
Earlier this year, Alegra’s dad Marino came up with the idea of creating Hasbro Alegra’s Army Edition of Monopoly. “It brought some of our most valued supporters together. Each corporate sponsor purchased their positions on the board. Our Ambassador Sid Tapia created all the artwork. It is so exciting to have an officially licensed Hasbro game of Monopoly,” Sue-Ellan explains.
Alegra’s gracious and compassionate parents have vowed to do as much as they can to ensure their beloved young girl’s legacy lives on and are determined to allow their little star to continue shining from above.
*For those who wish to support or make a donation towards the Little Legs Foundation, you can find all the details here- littlelegsfoundation