Grace Lin: The Robert's Snow Story
Robert and Grace
Robert's Snow was founded by children's book illustrator Grace Lin and her husband Robert as a fundraiser to benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This is the story of how it all began in Grace's own words:
"When Robert and I were married, the skies poured out a river of rain. Our wedding day was wet, but it couldn't dampen our happiness. So, when Robert's aunts told me that rain on a wedding day meant good luck, I believed them. However, it seemed that the superstition was horribly false. That winter, Robert was diagnosed with bone cancer (Ewing's sarcoma). The treatment was grueling, and Robert was left listless and weak.
One night, I began to tell Robert a story. It was a children's story about a mouse that wasn't allowed in the snow, just like him. Robert became interested, and it became our pet project.
I titled the story "Robert's Snow"; and as the story grew, so did our hopes for the future.
Nine months later, Robert was declared cancer-free. "Robert's Snow" was accepted for publication. We felt that our good luck had finally arrived. But, in March 2004, Robert's cancer returned. We were devastated. Our doctor told us that Robert's best chance for long-term survival was a breakthrough in cancer research.
So we decided to help the doctors the best we could. Because "Robert's Snow" had meant so much to us the first time, we decided to use it as an inspiration for a fundraiser. We recruited children's book artists to paint wooden snowflakes and auctioned them off – the proceeds going to cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The response was tremendous. "Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure" snowballed greater than we ever dreamed. In the end, we raised over $100,000. And this sparked a blizzard. Because of the great interest, we produced a book "Robert's Snowflakes" which highlights the 2004 snowflakes.
Robert and I are still immensely touched by the outcome of our project. And I've realized that rain that fell on our wedding day was a sign of good luck after all. Every one of Robert's Snowflakes is a gift of love, community, and kindness. Few couples have ever received better presents. Now we share them with you."
— Grace Lin
In memory of Robert Mercer who lost his fight against sarcoma in August 2007. Robert and his wife Grace Lin founded Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure in 2004. Since that time, the event has raised more than $200,000 for Dana-Farber.