Toys are magical things …
They can bring instant joy and delight. They can teach. They can chase away fear or sadness. They can help light up a room with a child’s laughter.
But some understand more deeply than others the power of a great toy.
Eight-year-old Gavin understands. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and autoimmune hepatitis, Gavin has spent a big part of his young life trying to combat the crazy high fevers, the flu-like symptoms, the fatigue, and a host of other issues resulting from the systemic inflammation that plagues his body.
That has meant a lot of time in the hospital and in doctors’ offices … time in which a kid would love to be doing anything else. Toys have been a lifesaver. To pass the time during his hospital stays, his monthly infusions and other clinic visits, the right toys have made things bearable.
Five years ago, Gavin and his family decided to help share the joy of a good toy. His mom, Christina, spread the word to family and friends. She reached out on Facebook. Beautiful toys began showing up on the family’s doorstep — trucks and baby dolls, building bricks and science kits — just the kind of thing a kid held captive by a medical condition would need to pass the time, to get past the needle sticks, to begin grinning from ear to ear.
As he gets older, Gavin is more and more inclined to look out for other little ones who are just beginning their medical journeys.
“He’ll hear a 3-year-old crying and say, ‘Mom, that little boy needs a truck!’” Christina says. “He’s just a naturally sweet and compassionate little person.”
Each year Gavin’s toy haul grows larger. This week, the family unloads hundreds of fantastic toys for the children who are cared for at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
Just a boy and his family helping to multiply the joy — with toys.
Because Gavin knows that a good toy is a magical thing.
To learn more about supporting kids at Johns Hopkins All Children’s, visit our ways to give page.