The Wichita Eagle: He was once a sick kid stuck in the hospital. Now, he's helping kids in the same situation
By Anythony Navarrete
A Wichita-area 7-year-old who spent some scary times in a Kansas City hospital is in his third year of collecting toys for other kids who are now facing what he did.
Rylee Martin, a second-grader at Pray-Woodman Elementary in Maize, was 4 days old when he started having heart-stopping seizures, said his mother, Laurie Martin.
The family didn’t know what was causing the seizures until they took him to Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Adele Hall Campus in Kansas City. There, doctors diagnosed Rylee with an incurable genetic condition called ALDH7A1 pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy.
After one Christmas, the Martin family was inspired by Rylee to give back to the hospital that saved his life, Laurie said.
“It kind of hit him that other kids didn’t have what he had,” she said. “One year, he opened his Christmas presents and said, ‘Well I already have a Transformer like this. Let’s just save it to give to the kids at the hospital,’” Laurie said.
It started off small with just a couple of Dollar General stores teaming up with the Martin family. Now, Rylee has gift donation locations set up around the Wichita area where people can donate new, unwrapped toys or money to Children’s Mercy Hospital. The toys will be given to sick children who will be spending their holidays in the hospital this year.
Rylee said his favorite part about collecting the toys is loading up the van that takes the toys to Kansas City and seeing the smiles children have after picking out their toys.
This year, the Martins are collaborating with Heroes Sports Bar and Grill for a comedy night, which will happen at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8. The show will include comedians Dan the Man, Uncle Bam, Meghan Welch and Ryan Anderson. Admission is free with a donation of a new, unwrapped toy to Rylee’s Toys for Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Read the full story via The Wichita Eagle
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