HOUSTON – Ten-year-old Berra Bildaci is on a mission to help pediatric cancer warriors. It’s a mission near and dear to her young heart because it’s a fight she knows, personally, all too well.
In July of 2021 at just 9 years old, Berra was diagnosed with Diffuse Midline Glioma, a rare form of brain cancer that only impacts roughly 250 kids in the United States every year with a grim survival rate. 14 months ago, doctors gave Berra less than a year to live.
“Her mutations in her tumor make her cancer much more aggressive,” said Zeynep Bildaci, Berra’s mom. “It’s already been 12 months, so we are having a miracle and we are praying for this miracle to continue… We just want more funds to put into more research for this disease.”
During Berra’s radiation treatments, weak and unable to walk around on her own, she was forced to stay home from school. She spent much of her time making homemade bracelets out of colorful string and beads in her bedroom. She said one day she got a great idea: to launch a bracelet business to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
“It was just a normal day with my grandparents and I was making a bracelet for myself and I got the idea. I went downstairs and told my mom “I want to start a business!” I told her the idea and she said ‘sure!’”
With the help of her parents, Berra set up an online Shopify account called “Let’s Beat Cancer Together,” and so far, she has made hundreds of personalized bracelets and has raised more than $3,000 for pediatric cancer research. Berra’s mom said the business gives her purpose.
" She opens her iPad, sees the orders and then she creates them herself. She puts them in the envelopes, writes all the addresses, we literally don’t touch the order at all, then we just ship them for her” said Bildaci, “It’s her business from end to end and then she tags it: Fulfilled.”
Berra’s latest project has been to create hundreds of bracelets for the non-profit pediatric cancer organization “‘Sky High For Kids’ Ladies Who Brunch” event on September 25th in Houston. Berra’s mom said Berra became inspired after meeting Sky High Founder and President, Brittany Franklin.
“Sky High helped Berra with creating a purpose and she got the idea from Brittany,” said Bildaci, “Berra said I am going to make my business non-profit too with the goal not to make a lot of money, but just to help other kids.”
Brittany Franklin wears her personalized bracelet daily as a way to celebrate the incredible kids, like Berra and her friend Payton Angelle who is also battling cancer, as they continue the mission to help raise funds for more research.
“Berra’s ‘Let Beat Cancer together’ business is going to be at the pop-up shops at our event on the 25th- and she’s going to be selling our Sky High For Kids bracelets to not only impact research but to impact the kids she knows are fighting alongside her,” said Franklin “.. This year is extra special because we have two cancer warriors, Miss Berra and Payton.. they’re both ten years old, they’re new friends and they’re making bracelets to help end childhood cancer. It’s really remarkable.”
It’s a truly remarkable and selfless mission Berra is happy to do. When KPRC 2 Anchor Christine Noel sat down to make bracelets with Berra and some of her friends, Christine asked Berra what her overall hope is with her bracelet business. Berra replied, “I want to make a difference.” She added she wants to make a positive change in a child’s day who is fighting pediatric cancer, and she is doing so one bead, one bracelet at a time.
If you would like to place a bracelet order and help in Berra’s “Let Beat Cancer Together” Mission, you can do so here.