A helping hand. A friendly smile. A round of applause at a charity event. Universal signs of support that have the power to change the world. Here are the Gestures of the Week December 24-30.

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gestures of the week december 24-30 davonnaCancer survivor receives unexpected help for reconstructive surgery

A local breast cancer survivor is now receiving some unexpected help from a friend after she’s inspired many with her countless acts of kindness and support.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 33 years old,” Whittenburg said. “I went through chemotherapy, radiation, the whole treatment.”

Years ago, Whittenburg was working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse at Mercy Hospital, saving up money for reconstructive surgery after having a double mastectomy.

“We had a baby that came through that my heart just went to,” Whittenburg said. “He was premature, no family, no visitors, no home, nothing. [My husband and I] had always prayed about having a third child, adopting a child, but when I got cancer, that obviously went out the door.”

But, the dream of having another child wasn’t so far out of reach.

“I told my husband it was a no-brainer to me,” Whittenburg said. “I called the doctor’s office and told them that I was cancelling my surgery. They asked why and I said because we’re adopting a child.” Read more…

gestures of the week december 24-30 jlawJennifer Lawrence Kept Up Her Heartfelt Holiday Tradition At A Louisville Children’s Hospital

Actress Jennifer Lawrence spent her Christmas Eve giving back to her hometown of Louisville, Ky. The Oscar winner paid a visit to Norton Children’s Hospital to spend time with the patients and staff. According to a local newspaper, Lawrence has been making surprise holiday visits to the hospital since 2013. Read more…

gestures of the week december 24-30 ornamentWoman cross-stitches unique ornaments for child cancer patients

An ornament maker who has remained anonymous until now is getting the recognition she deserves.

Nancy Benedict embodies the spirit of Christmas. Her home is decorated brightly for Christmas with Santa ornaments, statues, dolls and more. She channels her inner Santa and gives presents to children at Christmastime.

For the past three years, Nancy cross-stitched ornaments for families who have children battling cancer. In many cases, she made the gifts for children she never even met. Read more…