December 20, 2011
A toy drive started to honor the memory of a young boy is putting smiles on the faces of children who are sick this holiday season.
Mason Thomas lost his battle with Neuroblastoma six months ago. He was only 11 years old. His mother, Kelley Kassay, started a toy drive in his honor. She says she knows first hand how difficult it is to spend a holiday in the hospital.
"I thought it would be a nice tribute. It's a great way to honor him." Kassay said.
With the help of family and friends, Kassay delivered the gifts on Tuesday. The had boxes full of donated items for the kids to open. One child picking out presents was nine year old Sadie Ritter. Sadie also suffers from Neuroblastoma and has been in the hospital for five years.
"It makes me want to fight even harder for a cure. It touches my heart to see her and see what she's going though and know the odds. It just makes me want to fight harder when I meet little kids that are going through it still." Kassay explained.
Sadie's father says it's been a struggle for the entire family and he's grateful for the community support. "It's good to see her smile and be happy. It helps relieve the pain some too." says Robert Ritter.
Kassay hopes the presents help relieve the pain and provide smiles. She says it's one way to honor her son while helping others.