Natalia's compassion for others is contagious. She does not let her fight against a brain tumor keep her from focusing on what matters most ‒ showing kindness to others.
When Make-A-Wish volunteers visit Natalia, she tells them she does not want the wish to be about her ‒ she wants to help other people. “Can I feed the hungry?” she asks her mom. Natalia understands how a wish has power. It’s why she is willing to share hers.
Natalia loves to cook with her mom and watch cooking shows. Her favorite foods are her mom’s stuffed peppers and cream of broccoli soup. The soup kept Natalia warm when the chemo made her feel cold.
“I am cold all of the time,” she admits. “Imagine how cold people without homes must be.”
When she finally makes her decision, Natalia wishes to work with a chef to create a soup that she can serve to people in need.
"I would like to give people soup and blankets,” she says. “I don't want there to be hunger."
Making Natalia’s wish come true
Master Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel, owner of Cincinnati’s Jean-Robert’s Table, invites the 10-year-old and her family to his restaurant to design a soup.
With the chef’s help, Natalia works with a variety of ingredients to create a hearty vegetable soup with mini-bowtie pasta (another favorite). “It needs a little kick,” Natalia tells chef. Jean-Robert agrees and he sprinkles in some cayenne pepper.
Natalia names her soup “Chef Natalia’s Soup of Love” to remind all who taste it that the most important ingredient is showing love to others.
Reflections on a giving wish
“What kind of ten-year-old kid wishes to feed the hungry and give the hungry blankets,” her father wonders, “when they get told they can pretty much have anything they want?”
“I am in awe of my granddaughter's strength and compassion!” Natalia’s grandmother says.
With her recipe in hand, Natalia talks about the next step in her wish
“I would like to be able to help serve it and know that many more people after will get to enjoy the soup.”
Weeks later, Natalia serves her soup and passes out new blankets to more than 150 homeless residents at the Drop Inn Center, Cincinnati's largest shelter. The evening is everything she hoped it would be, and more.
Natalia speaks eloquently and passionately about her wish. It’s a wish that “makes me feel warm inside.” She adds that she wants to help people in a way that goes on “forever-ever-ever-ever.”
Share Natalia's wish! Follow her recipe and serve it at your local shelter or to your family and friends. #NataliasWish