Hello, my name is Gracie!
When I was three years old, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I had my first surgery and then did two years of chemotherapy. While completing my second year of chemotherapy, I started kindergarten at North Elementary in Danville. I asked my principal, Mrs. Perkins, if she would help me with an idea I had to collect toys for other kids at Riley Hospital for Children. She said "I would love to!"
When I was in second grade, I asked Mrs. Noe at South Elementary if she would help too. She said "Absolutely!" For seven years, I have been collecting and donating toys to Riley Hospital for Children with help from Danville Elementary, Indiana Connections Academy (my current school) and our awesome community.
In 2014 when I was eight years old, I had really bad seizures and had to have another surgery. Three months later a new spot was growing. Dr. Smith, at Riley Hospital for Children, wanted to watch it and two months later I had another MRI showing the new spot was growing. I had to choose between radiation or surgery. I refused radiation and told Dr. Smith to go get it. Now I am 12 years old and undergoing treatments for scleroderma.
Because of my toy drive efforts, I was nominated to be a 2018 Riley Champion. This is a huge honor. I am so excited to share my story. In just the last two years, Gracie's Toy Drive collected nearly 20,000 toys for kids at Riley Hospital for Children. This year I want the toy drive to be the biggest one yet.
My goal is to collect 15,000 toys to donate this Christmas! I need your help to make this happen. Please donate a new and unwrapped toy by dropping it off at one of these collection sites by Friday, Dec. 6 or consider hosting a donation box.
Thank you in advance for helping my goal of collecting 15,000 toys for the kids at Riley Hospital for Children!