Six year old Poppy was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia four days before Christmas 2018. After 236 days in and out of the hospital, Poppy was well known on the tenth floor at Inova Children’s Hospital. During her stay, instead of accepting toys from hospital volunteers for herself, many times she would put them in a red wagon and bring them around to other kids in the unit. She served as the “welcome wagon” to new kids in the oncology unit, and if she knew someone was feeling down she would take a toy to them.
As Poppy’s mom reflects, “Gifts are an act of love, and giving love was incredibly important to Poppy while she was in the hospital. She knew that when someone gave her something, it brought a smile to her face and she enjoys doing that for other people.”
Putting together LEGO sets was one of Poppy’s favorite activities while in the hospital, giving her hours of fun and distraction. LEGOs also helped her bond with the nurses, who would sit at the end of her bed and work on them with her. Poppy said she loves LEGOs because they “made her forget” she was in the hospital.
Although she has completed her treatment and is now home, Poppy didn’t want to forget the kids who are still in the hospital. Shortly before Thanksgiving, her mom posted a note on Facebook about Poppy’s wish to collect LEGO sets to donate to other kids. More than 300 new LEGO sets were donated by friends, family, neighbors, The LEGO Group, and strangers on Facebook who were touched by Poppy’s idea.
“Poppy’s Lego Express”
On December 23, 2019, Poppy brought her red wagon back to Inova Children’s and delivered the 300-plus new LEGO sets to kids who were spending the holidays in the hospital.
Thank you, Poppy, for sharing your joy (and your favorite toy) with the other children at Inova!
Generosity Makes the News
Poppy’s generosity got the attention of local Washington, DC media outlets, who showed up with cameras to document the events.