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A Toy Drive Close to the Heart

Posted on Aug. 19, 2020 ( comments)

Never underestimate the power of community — or Nerf guns — to bring a smile to those who need it.

When 9-year-old Woodinville resident, Liam Miller, was scheduled for open-heart surgery at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, community and the cardiac surgeon’s Wall of Toys helped him face the scary procedure. The gifts helped Liam feel safe and secure as he went to surgery.

“It made him so happy,” Liam’s mother, Brenda Miller, said. “It gave him something to focus on. I don't think we knew how much that meant to him until afterward.”

To celebrate his one-year surgery anniversary, Liam decided to collect toys for other kids at Mary Bridge Children’s. Liam and his friends, soccer teammates and family collected hundreds of coloring books, toys, crayons, play dough and Nerf guns.  

Liam's boxes“We managed to fill my large-sized SUV to the point where there was room for only him and me on the day we delivered!” Brenda said.

At Mary Bridge Children’s, the Millers found a community that Liam could connect with, child life specialists that deeply cared and a cardiologist they loved.

“When we toured the facility and met the staff, we immediately felt a sense of peace,” Brenda said. “The staff was kind and made all of us feel important, listened to and cared for.”

Now Liam is back to playing soccer, hiking with his family and planning his next fundraiser.

Liam in front of MB health center

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MultiCare Health System
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 18,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Learn more. More stories by this author
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