This Christmas in Tacoma, Washington, Santa had a little helper of a very different kind.
With a pink Santa hat perched on her head, a 6 year old girl named Dryden Shirks pulled a red cart full of toys through the doors of Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
It is a place that little Dryden knows all too well. Dryden was just two years old when her parents heard the words, “your daughter has cancer.” For two and half years she battled with leukemia and her treatment took place at Mary Bridge.
With a clear memory of what it is like to be in hospital during the holidays, Dryden had a positive mission for Christmas 2014.
Along with help from her brothers and sisters, she collected more than 700 toys to donate to children that are too sick to leave the hospital over the festive period.
“I had cancer and I got lots of toys.” Dryden said, “I want to make other kids happy with toys, too.”
The resourceful little girl organized with local businesses in Tacoma to have collection bins for donated presents.
“They’re going to have happy faces,” she said before arriving at the hospital in a van full of gifts.
Dryden has been cancer free for two years now, and her efforts to help others have not stopped here.
Dryden also took part in the Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington’s Walk For Wishes held in September 2014.
Even though the walk has been and gone, at the time of writing donations are still being accepted. You can visit Dryden’s donation page here.
The Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Foundation can be found here.