Bottomless Toy Chest Delivers Smiles to Children Fighting Cancer

A non-profit organization lifts the spirits of children in need.

Gabe, 6, of Royal Oak, chooses a gift from the Bottomless Toy Chest. Credit: Judy Davids
Gabe, 6, of Royal Oak, chooses a gift from the Bottomless Toy Chest. Credit: Judy Davids
Mickey Guisewite, founder and executive director of the Bottomless Toy Chest, and her crew of elves stopped by Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Monday morning to deliver toys and smiles to children fighting cancer.

The Bottomless Toy Chest is a nonprofit organization that hopes to make the lives of the pediatric cancer patients in the hospital better throughout the year.

By providing crafts, art projects and toys to children during the course of the year, and especially during the holidays, the Bottomless Toy Chest tries to lift the spirits of those children in need. 

Guisewite knows firsthand what's it's like to spend the holidays with a child fighting cancer. Her 18-year old son, Jack Decerchio, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Now healthy and attending American University in Washington DC, Guisewite, recalls the days when she desperately tried to redirect Jack's attention while he was being treated. Now she's doing it for other kids, too.

"Cancer turns your life upside down," Guisewite said. "From a therapeutic standpoint, we're allowing kids to have a choice in an environment where they really have no choices."

"Bringing Santa and the toys here provides our patients with some normalcy," said Karen MacDonald, a pediatric oncology nurse at Beaumont. "It also provides a safe environment. With colds and flus going around, a lot of our parents are hesitant to take their kids out to the malls."

All the presents are wrapped in clear cellophane, to protect children with weakened immune systems, and tied with a bow. Patients are also allowed to pick out a gift for their siblings, too.

One of the children picking out toys, was 6-year-old Gabe, a first-grader at Addams Elementary School in Royal Oak.

"This is really cool," said Gabe's mother, Rebekah Adler. "This makes it better for him. And it's nice that he gets to bring some toys home for his siblings. This kind of stuff really helps."

To learn more about the Bottomless Toy Chest and to find out what you can do to help, click here.


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