Making Magic

Smyrna's Doug Barron uses gifts for good

When someone you love is sick, don’t you wish you had a magic wand to cast out the pain, dismiss the germs forever and banish the bad news?

When 13-year old Mary Tipton Carter of Brookhaven was at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, she could have used a magic wand during her treatment for ovarian cancer. Instead, she stepped into the role of fairy godmother, constructing wands out of pipe cleaners, visiting other children who were sick, granting them a bit of hope with their own magic wand. 

Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance executive director Doug Barron of Smyrna  heard about the young ovarian cancer patient at CHOA and went for a visit. From there, the two developed a unique friendship and productive collaboration.

MT is a huge Harry Potter fan and convinced Doug if they were going to be friends, he would have to read the entire Harry Potter series.  So he did! While reading, Doug noticed a common element in all of the stories. Every character possessed a wand that would help them in times of need and conflict. 

An amateur woodworker, Doug decided to design and craft a magic want for MT. He turned to “Nana’s Tree,” the Japanese Maple that his children planted when their Grandmother passed away from ovarian cancer in 2007 and chose a branch to work with. “The first wand I made was very special,” says Doug.  “The handle and wand separate exposing a secret compartment that can hold a special wish or spell.” Thus the name, “MT’s Wizardly Wands with Get Well Spells.”

Now, an ovarian cancer survivor, MT creates gift bags for children being treated at the AFLAC Cancer Center Inpatient Unit at CHOA - Scottish Rite with information about these special wands that are then distributed by the AFLAC Donations Coordinator. “MT hopes the wands may bring some magic, a smile, and some happiness into their lives,” says Doug.  Together, Doug and MT have created a magical friendship that proves caring and creativity can cast spells that last a lifetime.

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