A Mustang for Rosie's Love

Hedgeman said the location is just an hour away from a hospital, just in case something were to happen, which she said has occurred before.

The foundation began in 2000 after Rosie's death. Hedgeman said the family spent almost every holiday in the hospital with Rosie. The first Easter after Rosie died, they cooked dinner and brought in Easter baskets for the kids and families who were at Albany Medical Center. Hedgeman said the organization grew from there. She added that at any given time, there are about 700 children being treated for some form of cancer at the hospital.

"We had been through it so we knew what the families were going through so we tried to help them," she said. "One family would tell another family, and they would come to us and say, 'This family could really use this, and this family could really use that.' And it just kind of grew from that."

Hedgeman said the foundation rarely seeks out donations because people usually just give things to them. They foundation will also visit Albany Medical Center around Christmas and fill the conference room, as Hedgeman put it, "from the floor to the ceiling" with gifts. The kids will pick out gifts to give to their family because it is difficult for them to leave the hospital to go to the mall and purchase a present.

"This gives them the opportunity to have the fun and the joy of giving," she said. "They all seem to be more concerned with other people than they are themselves."

Hedgeman said Rosie was a "very sociable baby," and she adored many of the children she met. The main mission for Hedgeman is to spread the love that Rosie exuded every day.

"When she was gone, the love that she gave them, we wanted to pass it on," she said. "It just keeps going on. There's this tiny little girl, she was so sick, but when she walked into the clinic, her face just lit up, and she loved her doctors and she loved all the other children. Her love just keeps going on and on and on."


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