There’s an old saying, friendships last forever, and Marlboro High Senior Julia Dougherty, takes that message to heart.
Over the past three years, Julia has collected thousands of toys in memory of her friend, Bernadette Lafollette.
Julia and Bernadette had been friends since age three, and both have battled health issues all their lives.
Julia has diabetes, Bernadette had a heart defect. Both knew what it’s like to be sick in a hospital, far from home, and how much a toy means.
“Basically if you’re a child and in the hospital. It’s going to touch you in some way or another.. it’s kind of a distraction and a relief,” said Julia.
That’s why after Bernadette died from her heart condition, Julia started “The Bernadette Project,” collecting toys for Boston Children’s Hospital, in memory of her friend, to help other children, just like them.
“When I think of Bernadette, when we were friends, I never saw Bernadette as being sick or anything. I think of her as my friend who I’ve known since pre-school,” said Julia.
This year, Julia has collected more than 2,200 toys, and delivered them to the hospital with the help of family, friends and staff.
Julia wants to continue “The Bernadette Project,” even when she’s in college next year.
Bernadette died three years ago, and just this year her classmates voted her as a senior standout, winning the “Best Laugh” category.
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