Returning to her room after chemotherapy and radiation treatments, 4-year-old Lauren could count on her stuffed bunny blanket to make her feel better. It was always waiting for her, a sweet, simple gift from her aunt and uncle, ready to give her comfort. Lauren wanted to do the same for other sick children
Make-A-Wish approached her, she didn’t imagine a vacation or a shopping spree. Instead, she saw the joy and comfort she could pass on by sharing her bunny blanket. On the day of her wish, Lauren strolled the hospital corridors she’d gotten to know during her fight against cancer. But this time, she was followed by a cartload of plush bunny blankets. Before she handed the gift to each child, she hugged it, hoping it would bring the same relief to them as it did to her. For those who witnessed her thoughtfulness, it certainly did.
Instead of cuddly blankets, 4-year-old Dominic from Pennsylvania wished to give toys to other hospital-bound kids
. When he was fighting leukemia, one of Dominic’s favorite experiences was delving into the hospital’s treasure chest of toys. Digging through a trove of stuffed animals and plastic race cars, Dominic could escape into his own imagination and feel like a 4-year-old again. He wanted other kids to experience the same happiness. Last month, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s treasure chest got a lift when Dominic went on a shopping spree and donated his finds to the hospital. Flanked by a cheering crowd, Dominic filled the treasure chest with hand-picked toys, each decorated with a sticker reading “Donated by Dominic.” His generosity caught the eyes of local and national media outlets. But for Dominic, knowing he brought smiles to kids like him was enough.
These days, Dylan spends more time in the hospital than at home. He’s gotten to know the halls and operating rooms and, of course, the doctors. With a rare mitochondrial disorder that brings him constant pain from kidney stones and keeps him from eating solid food, the 8-year-old’s discomfort can only be eased by the doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Well, LEGO bricks help, too. They distract Dylan from his illness, so his ultimate wish was to have a LEGO replica of the children’s hospital
. Last week, his wish was granted. The model is stunningly accurate and complete with a miniature cafeteria, helicopter landing pad, an operating room and even some of his favorite doctors. It will certainly bring Dylan comfort, but his wish doesn’t end there. He hopes the replica will help raise money for more research on mitochondrial disease. Dylan is the only known child in the world with this particular kind of mitochondrial disorder, so more research – and more LEGO fun – will hopefully ease his pain and set him on the road to health.