TROY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Over the years, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, The Bottomless Toy Chest, has devoted its time and efforts to putting a smile on hospitalized pediatric cancer patients.
Eight-year-old Payton was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma back in 2018.
"She had cancer at 90% of her body," Greg Huskey, Payton's father, said.
Payton’s dad says even though she is in remission now, Payton has been tough throughout the treatment.
"She hasn’t shied away from doing anything just because she looked different, you know, didn’t have hair," Huskey said.
But during bad days, it was toys that would put a smile on Payton’s face.
"'Hey Payton, do you want to sneak down to the toy room and get yourself a new toy?' And Payton would be like, 'Yeah absolutely! Let's do it right now!'" Huskey said.
This was possible thanks to a Troy-based nonprofit organization called The Bottomless Toy Chest.
Mickey Guisewite, the founder of the program, says since its inception 13 years ago, the initiative has delivered over 30,000 toys per year.
"Our goal is to bring emotional support to children to help them feel positive about their hospital experience. And to help them feel that they can do things even though they are going through something difficult," Guisewite said.
Guisewite started The Bottomless Toy Chest after her son battled cancer.
"The more I could empower him with toys and give him things he could do, the better he responded to his treatment," Guisewite said.
As for challenges, Mickey says the initiative is year-round and the organization is always looking for toy donations and financial support. Plus seeing the joy on a struggling child’s face is priceless.
"I'm really happy when someone gets a toy," Payton said.
"She builds a new lego every time she goes to the hospital," Huskey said.
In the new year, the organization will be wrapping a lot of gifts and require volunteer support. To donate toys, provide financial support or assist The Bottomless Toy Chest team, head over to bottomlesstoychest.org