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UMTV: Toys Help Cancer Kids


In the last days of his life, nine-year-old Joey Doolittle began raising money to buy toys for kids also dealing with cancer. His family and church members are carrying on that wish in his memory. Kim Riemland reports.


(Locator: Atlanta, Georgia)

Specialist talks to patient: "Which one did you pick out today? Oh, are you going to be a doctor when you grow up?"

Nine-year-old Raman Franklin has battled leukemia for more than three years...enduring countless rounds of chemotherapy.

Specialist talks to patient's doctor: "He decided to get his labs from his port."

But today, his hospital check-up is easier...thanks to a toy from a little boy he will never meet.

Church member talks to volunteers: "Now if Joey was here, this would be one of his favorites."

Joey Doolittle was Raman's age when he died from cancer in 2008. In his final days, he createdJoey's Toy Box to give children new playthings to help them endure difficult and tiring treatments.

Kim Doolittle, Joey's Mother: "We came home and he fell asleep on the couch. When he woke up, the first thing he said is, 'Mom, would people give money to a little kid?'"

Friends and members of Joey's church,Cornerstone United Methodist just outside of Atlanta, raised over 60,000 dollars in toys and funds. Volunteers, including church member and cancer survivor Cindy Hunter, now carry on the program in Joey's memory.

Church member talks to volunteers: "He loved this kind of stuff."

Cindy Hunter, Volunteer: "Joey had to deal with his cancer through his toys. That was his way of escaping to a safe place."

Patient's mother talks to child: "Let's talk about several and then pick one, okay?"

Now children at area hospitals can choose from puzzles, action figures and other toys to make things feel more normal...when life is anything but ordinary.

Parents like Josette Franklin are grateful for Joey's legacy.

Josette Franklin, Mother of Cancer Patient: "For a little boy to say, 'I know how I felt being here and wanting some enjoyment,' that just makes it all the more meaningful."

Cindy Hunter, Volunteer: "Joey's not here, but he's still with us, and he's still sharing through his toy box."


Cornerstone United Methodist members continue to collect toys, gift cards and money for Joey's Toy Box, and even helped provide an entire Christmas to two cancer patients and their families this past year.

For more information, contact Cornerstone United Methodist Church at 770-304-9397.

Posted: August 19, 2009