Child cancer patient donates toys to other children in hospitals for Christmas

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

A child with leukemia is spreading holiday cheer to other children who are in similar situations. Adyn Pickett and his sister, Abby, are donating 1,800 toys to children in hospitals.

A white box truck acts as Adyn’s sleigh.

“It feels really good,” he said.

Adyn has his chariot filled with thousands of toys for children like them.

“Last Christmas, I was in the hospital, and I had to stay there for Christmas,” Adyn said.

Adyn has spent half of his 8 years of life in and out of the hospital because of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“This is Adyn’s fourth relapse,” said Erica Pickett, Adyn’s mom.

You would not know be he still had cancer with all of his energy and giving spirit.

“Even on his worst days, he typically runs around and is in a great mood and great spirits,” Erica said.

If you ask what helped him get through all those hospital visits, it’s Legos.

“They helped me get through the day faster,” Adyn said. “I hope they are the same toys for the kids, so they’re not bored.”

“We were going through a really hard time, and those toys made all the difference for our kids,” Erica said.

That’s why he and his family started a toy drive.

“I thought that it would be good to donate toys to kids that are stuck in the hospital for Christmas,” Adyn said.

“We had donation boxes at about 20 businesses throughout Lee and Collier, where people donated toys to the businesses and then people just dropped them off at the door step,” Erica said.

“Eighty-five percent of the patients we care for here at the children’s hospital are on some kind of government-subsidized insurance,” said Armando Llechu, the Lee Health chief officer of hospital operations. “We take care of a lot of kids whose families don’t have the means, so some of these families get to have a Christmas thanks to the generosity of the community.”

Clearly the pandemic did not change the effort Adyn and his family put into their toy drive. Last year, they donated 1,200 toys. This year, the 1,800 toys they collected were donated to patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Fort Myers. Those are both places that have cared for Adyn.

The toys will sit in a quarantine bin for a few days before being delivered to the kids in the hospital.

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