Dr. Neil Feldstein from the Pediatric Center tells us, his patient, thirteen-year-old Grace Ring has outdone herself! This year she delivered over 500 books to the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital through Help Us Give Smiles (HUGS), the charity she started after her own brain surgery three years ago.
Grace and her family went through a terrifying ordeal when she was just ten years old and they found out she had a brain tumor.
Specifically, Grace had what is called a pineal tumor. This is a mass found in the pineal gland in the brain.
The treatment usually involves surgery and depending upon whether the tumor is cancerous may include radiation, and chemotherapy.
Grace was one of the lucky ones, her tumor was found early enough and removed successfully. It was during her own ordeal that she came up with the idea for HUGS.
“I love to read,” says Grace, “and when I was in the hospital I’d go to the library and I’d try to find a book and there were only books for younger kids.”
She started her charity HUGS by emailing all her friends and asking for books they were done reading. She says, “I wanted to get books for all the kids at the hospital to keep them occupied. I knew it would make the kids feel good to know someone was thinking of them.”
Grace always delivers the books around her birthday. “This year,” she says, “I got the best birthday present ever- tons of books!” Her whole school got involved and she was able to deliver 500 books to the Children’s Hospital. “My biggest collection ever,” says Grace.
Grace’s mom, Anne says, “What I am most proud of is that not only is my daughter helping those kids at the hospital, she is also making a difference in her community. She is changing the way people think. In a metropolitan area where people have so much and it is easy to take it all for granted, Grace is getting them to stop and think of others.”
Grace says she already has two hundred books toward next year’s donation and is adding games and DVDs to the collection. She doesn’t plan on stopping there, either. She says, “I want to help the hospital raise money to build a bigger library.” –They’ll have to at the rate she’s going.
To donate to Grace’s charity HUGS, you can email her mom Anne for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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