For several years a Winnipeg family has turned tragedy into hope with an annual toy drive in memory of their beloved Emma-Lee Grant.
Emma was only a few months old when random bruises on her body disappeared just as quickly as they appeared.
Tiffany Grant’s motherly intuition kicked in. After several visits to the pediatrician, on March 24, 2017, Tiffany and Emma’s grandmother, Beverley Grant, insisted on bloodwork.
The bloodwork revealed that seven-month-old Emma had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia with MLL Gene Rearrangement.
Emma spent months undergoing aggressive treatment and then receiving treatment as an outpatient through CancerCare Manitoba.
The Grant family says she put up a strong, brave fight, but sadly on Dec. 3, 2017, they said goodbye to their little fighter.
When planning her celebration of life, Beverley Grant said, they asked for toys instead of flowers, as toys brought lovely memories.
Emma had been visited by the Easter bunny and got the simplest thing, a little ball.
“That was such a great memory for us,” said Grant.
The family gave the toys they received to families with children still in the hospital. It began their first annual toy drive in Emma’s memory.
“We just wanted toys to give back to the ward she was on, which was CK5. It blew up more than we’d ever expected,” Beverley said.
The family ended up with 450 people at Emma’s celebration of life.
“And they all brought a toy,” she said. “We ended up not only providing a toy for CK5, but the whole hospital.”
Beverley said these toys provide comfort for children going through painful treatment, and that is what makes the toy drive so special.
‘Whether their child goes home or if their child is unfortunate, like us, and doesn’t get to come home, there’s still a special memory when they’re in a very very bad place.”
Toy donations will be accepted until Dec. 18. They can be dropped off at 79 Heather Rd. in Winnipeg.
All pictures from the toy drive will be posted to Emma’s Facebook page.
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