POINT PLEASANT — A local family will be visiting Cabell Huntington Hospital next month, bringing some Christmas cheer along with them for little ones spending their holiday at the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital.
Last year the Keefer family decided to hold a toy drive to provide the children admitted at Cabell Huntington Hospital with Christmas gifts and have decided to do it again this year.
Holdyn Keefer and his family members parents Travis and Sarah, along with brothers Dylan, and Landyn know what it is like to spend Christmas in a hospital as Holdyn fought a battle with Pre B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Philadelphia Chromosome.
“When Holdyn was admitted during Christmas, that year it meant a lot to him to have people stop by and drop things off,” said Travis.
Collections have begun for the toy drive. Donations whether it be gifts, gifts cards, or monetary donations will be accepted until Dec. 14. Donations can be dropped off at New Hope Bible Baptist Church, Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., or those interested in donating can contact Travis or Sarah at (740) 441-5475. Also, this coming Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. at Edward Jones beside Pizza Hut in Point Pleasant, Travis and Sarah will be picking up donations.
“Thank you in advance to everyone who helps out,” said Travis. “This is something that is very near to our hearts and we love seeing the smiles it brings to the children’s faces.”
So far, the family has a few totes full of gifts.
On Dec. 20, the Keefer’s will travel to Cabell Huntington Hospital and all three boys will go to each room and pass out the gifts to the children individually.
“The boys had such a blessing last year passing out toys because they know what it is like for Holdyn when he was in the hospital during Christmas in the past,” said Travis. “When we went last year, the pediatric unit was full. We were able to give to each child. Getting to talk to some of the children and their families was so touching that we all left some rooms in tears, tears of joy to be touching lives in this way. Sarah and I feel that our boys learned more about having a giving heart in the hour we spent at the hospital than any other time in their lives. They have been excited all year to go back and do it again.”
Holdyn rang the bell to finish his chemotherapy treatment in September. Travis shared this coming Tuesday, Holdyn has a bone marrow biopsy which will tell the family for sure if he will be needing a bone marrow transplant after the first of the new year.
Erin Perkins is staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.