Emma Tourtellotte, the daughter of David and Kathleen Tourtellotte of Clifton, is honoring a family friend in a special way. The friend, Mike Rinaldi of Falls Church, died from bile cancer at the age of 40 so Emma, a student at Willow Springs Elementary School, decided she had to come up with a way to remeber him.
Before Rinaldi's passing, while still fighting his cancer, he became involved in an organization called Hope For Henry, which helps kids who have cancer. In honor of Mike's work with the program, Emma began a drive to boost the morale of the kids at Fairfax Hospital.
Emma has collected a multitude of children's videos from the people who go to her community pool. The videos are meant for children of all ages, from toddlers to early adolescents. After she gets a large amount of videos, she and her neighbor, an employee of Fairfax Hospital, help bring the videos to the kids at the hospital.
Emma would like to make this program an ongoing project that she does every summer. She is hoping to expand and she encourages people to come up with ideas such as book drives to further her cause in aiding children with cancer.
Emma has one very strong goal she hopes to accomplish. She wants the children with cancer to be happy and hopes that by watching the videos she collects it will "take their minds off what's going on." Emma added, "I was really close to (Mike), and I wanted to do something for him. Before he died, I told him about it, and he was really happy we were doing this for him.?
Anyone who wants to help Emma and her cause can send videos to her house at 5569 Rockpointe Lane, Clifton, VA 20121.