When our son Miles was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at 2 years old, our family was devastated and our lives turned upside down. Miles was in treatment for just shy of 4 years when his cancer returned aggressively and he gained his Angel wings on September 11, 2018.
Throughout Miles’ treatments, he had very frequent visits to the Oncology Clinic, Infusion center and In-patient hospital stays. The highlight of these visits would be getting to go to the toy closet to pick a special gift to reward his bravery and patience. However, we noticed that most times he would go home with nothing chosen as the selection was never great. He would rather leave the toys for the other kids than pick something for himself he didn't really love. But the days he did find something he liked... DAY MADE! I always thought to myself that when we made it through the storm of treatment, we should really try to donate to the toy closet to make sure every tough day these kids spent in the hospital or clinic was rewarded with a SMILE!
When Miles passed away in September of 2018, we planned his celebration of life to include a toy drive to keep the toy closet at his Oncology Clinic full for the next few months. Little did we know we would receive over 500 toys! In addition, we were able to organize a Christmas party at Banner Thunderbird Hospital for all of the Oncology kids and their families, it was amazing! Since then, we have made regular visits to stock toys and make sure no kid goes home without a smile from a toy or gift card! We have been so blessed with a large group of people who have supported our family and have always generously helped us when we decided we wanted to give back to other kiddos. Our hope is that others can also find joy in our mission and feel the calling to help bring Smiles for Miles!