St Johnsville Girl Gives Back to Honor Late Brother and Keep His Memory Alive
A Central New York girl is turning her grief into something positive by giving back in her brother's memory.
Alicianna Bersani of St Johnsville, New York lost her brother Dominick to SIDS in 2015 when he was only 3 and half months old. Every year since the family's horrible loss, they have donated supplies, time, and money to the Ronald McDonald House, the Hospital in Albany and numerous other foundations. "This year my daughter wants to do her own," said Kayla.
Alicianna has been having a hard time recently with the loss of her brother. "She's starting to forget a lot and question things that she does not understand and she started to get angry with the unknown," said Kayla. "Why did he have to die? Why was he sick? Why don’t I remember? You can only imagine the rest."
To keep her brother's memory alive Alicianna has been gathering her own donations. She used her allowance to buy supplies for an Army base.
She gathered donations and used more of her allowance to buy food for her school's food pantry.
With the help from dad, Alicianna bought food and supplies to donate to the Herkimer Humane Society for the animals.
Donations were collected for Albany Medical Center NICU where Dominick spent an entire month after he was born.
This year Alicianna has her own voice and plans for students that would have been her brother's classmates. She is raising money and doing extra chores to be able to provide a years worth of school supplies to every kid in the second grade at Schoharie public school. "I did not think it was going to be possible during this time," said Kayla.
But the donations started rolling in. Alicianna is almost at her goal of $1,100. "I truly believe doing this helps her cope with all of those questions and anger," Kayla said.
This is just the beginning for Alicanna who wants to start a nonprofit foundation and she already knows what she wants to do next. She's hoping to collect blankets and small stuffed animals for all the babies in the NICU where her brother spent the first month of his life. "It brings me joy and comfort to give back," said Alicanna. "I believes in my heart that Dominick would want to do stuff like this as well so I want to continue to do it and to show children my age good deeds can be done and they aren’t alone."
Alicianna also wants to sell clothes specifically for special needs children. There aren't any clothes with kids who have a G-tube or tracheotomy or are born without an arm or leg. "You have to accommodate with what you have, like cutting a hole where the G-tube is or letting a shirt dangle on where the arm would be," said Kayla.
You can help Alicianna reach her goal to make sure every second grader has school supplies by donating on Facebook.
Follow Alicianna to see her future plans at Dominick Foundation-SIDS Sibiling Survivor Facebook page.