C California Style Magazine + Dream Foundation = Compassion is always in fashion

C Magazine, Dream Foundation, TheSilverPen.com

Boy oh boy, do I ever have an inspiring Silver Lining for you on this beautiful Monday Morning! And it’s not what you might think it is based on the photo above. Please allow me to explain…and prepare for goosebumps.

Dream Foundation, the first and largest national wish- granting organization for adults and their families suffering life-threatening illness, partnered with C California Style Magazine to fulfill 18-year-old cancer patient Sonya Urzua’s dying wish to be a model. Yes. You read that correctly. Sonya, the girl in the cover above, is 18. And dying of cancer.

It would be reasonable to ask where is the Silver Lining is. As you may recall, I believe that Silver Linings provide balance and perspective. In other words, they involve thinking not about what you don’t have, but rather what you DO have. The Silver Linings for Sonya are that her lifelong dream of modeling was fulfilled AND her memory will live on in these miraculous images. These photographs are the ultimate gift for her family as well.

It is my great honor and privilege to share Sonya’s modeling dream with you. As you will clearly see, she is a complete and total inspiration.

C Magazine, Dream Foundation, TheSilverPen.comSonya was photographed in Los Angeles by the famed Diego Uchitel in Monique Lhullier dresses, and Harry Winston and Van Cleff & Arpels jewelry. Professional styling was by Samantha Traina  including hair by Mara Roszak, makeup by Amy Oresman  and a manicure by Christina Aviles at Opus Beauty.

C Magazine, Dream Foundation, TheSilverPen.com

Urzua also met—and was photographed with—the magazine’s May cover model, Zoëe Saldana, in advance of her new release, Star Trek Into Darkness, this month. “You’re so beautiful!” exclaimed Saldana upon seeing the teen before the cameras. “You’re a natural!”

C Magazine, Dream Foundation, TheSilverPen.com

According to C California Style Founder and Editorial Director Jennifer Hale “Watching Sonya in front of the camera was a moment I will never forget. This beautiful girl, glowing, radiant in a dream realized, was priceless. Isn’t that what life is all about? Living life to the fullest…enjoying every moment.” C California Style even created a special insert with Sonya on the cover and included it in the May issue.

Jennifer Hale and Dream Foundation President and Founder Thomas Rollerson presented the magazine to Sonya at the residential hospice facility where she now lives.

C Magazine, Dream Foundation, TheSilverPen.com

About Dream Foundation The first and largest national wish-granting organization for adults, Dream Foundation enhances the quality of life for individuals and their families battling life-threatening illness. Dream recipients are those individuals who have been given a year-or less-less life expectancy. Dreams range from basic need items, like a working stove, to bedside reunions and meaningful experiences with children and loved ones.

Founded in 1994, Dream Foundation serves more than 2,500 dreams each year and relies on a network of volunteers, sponsors and individual donors. To learn more about or support the work of Dream Foundation, please visit www.dreamfoundation.org/donate or call (805) 564-2131.

About C California Style With beautiful photography and a sophisticated wit, C is California’s arbiter of taste and trendsprimarily in the areas of fashion, jewelry, personalities, beauty and home. Its publications focus on the looks, people, places and events that define California’s style and its role as the creative center of the country.


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  1. Rachelle Urzua says

    Sonya was my niece and every time I miss her (which is all the time), I revisit this post and these photos. I have them all printed out, but it is a quick reminder of her light and beauty to come here again and again. Thank you so much, we miss her so much but know how lucky we were to have her light shine on us <3

  2. says

    Another Goosebump, awe-inspiring, Silver Lining day begins with you, Holly. Thank you for being my "go to" gal for inspiration, nummy food, style, gratitude and pure goodness.

      • Norman Lowe says

        I was a friend of Sonya's mother, Brianna. I had the opportunity to meet Sonya a few times. She had this light that shinned above her. You wouldn't have never known that she was ill. She kept the pain locked inside and expressed only happiness and joy. Her mother her best friend) was ther for her, every step of the way. Posting videos, pictures and poems to expressed her love for her daughter. The Lord took Sonya from us on 11/22/13. Her memorial is two day after Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving I will thank the Lord for allowing this bright shinning star to light up my life..even if it was for just a little while. Love you Sonya.

        • silverpen says

          Hi Norman,
          Thank you so much for your kind note and for sharing your story about beautiful Sonya. What an amazing inspiration and bright light in this world.
          All my best, Norman.
          Thank you.

  3. says

    I have been familiar with the Wish Foundation to fulfill last wishes for children, but I had not heard of the Dream Foundation, and its fulfilling of last wishes for adults. What a wonderful organization! Also a shout-out to C California Style magazine, and director Jennifer Hale, for making Sonya's dream a reality. Sonya is indeed a real and rare beauty, and her Cover Girl photos prove it. What a lovely silver lining for Sonya to have her dream realized; and for us to see her and be granted her inspiration.
    And thank you, Hollye, for making us aware of the beneficial work of the Dream Foundation.

  4. Kim C says

    I too see this as a beautiful silver lining for Sonya and her family. A wish fulfilled. And is an opportunity for us all to gain balance and perspective – as you said. Sonya, you are indeed a beautiful spirit, who shines inside and out!! Once again, thank you for sharing, Hollye. I'm moved and inspired!