Heart and Sol: Hellgate High School seniors partner with Ronald McDonald House to spread joy

Heart and Sol
Posted at 4:15 PM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-20 14:47:30-05

MISSOULA - February is Cancer Prevention Month and a group of Hellgate High School seniors are devoted to caring for cancer patients and their families.

They've partnered with the Ronald McDonald House in Missoula to bring the feeling of home to the hospital through their Heart and Sol gift bags.

The project started out of love for their friend Solvei.

“In July of 2021 I was diagnosed with cancer," shared Heart and Sol co-founder Solvei Waltz. She was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer — dysgerminoma — which required a major surgery.

“They can’t treat it in Missoula. We don’t have like a pediatric hospital for cancer in Missoula," Waltz explained. "So, I went to Seattle and I was treated there for four months."

“I felt like super sad about how I felt like couldn’t really do that much cuz I could like text and stuff but I couldn’t like go to Seattle," said friend and co-founder Leena Wachtel. "And so, that’s when me and my friend, we made a gift basket and we had a bunch of just comfort items.”

Solvei’s friends wanted to make sure she felt supported and loved, even though they were two states away. This compassion helped Solvei and her family stay positive throughout the scary situation.

“I really want Heart and Sol to provide comfort and even like a network for families who don’t have that opportunity to have like this amazing support and comfort,” explained Waltz.

Comfort is coming to children all around Western Montana now that the Ronald McDonald House has partnered with Heart and Sol. In the spring, the girls will get to personally deliver the care kits which include ginger candies for nausea, pillow spray for restful sleep — “a squishmallow."

"And this is just really fun for honestly kids of all ages. And it kinda...doubles as a hospital pillow and just like a fun little toy. We have this night sky projector so that it projects moons and stars and galaxies on your ceiling so that you like feel better in your hospital room," said friends and co-founders Natalina Fairchild and Thalia Lambros.

There are also a bunch of other gifts as well like a Visa gift card to help the families financially.

"[it's super important] for parents or like siblings to know like oh there's an outside source that like is supporting our kid or is thinking about us, it even just makes it feel like you're not alone so that's a great feeling," Lambros stated.

Filled with gratitude for the Missoula community's donations, these girls are eager to make going through cancer treatment more comfortable. Visit to donate.