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Brave Young Patient and Family Donate Nearly 4,000 Toys to Cincinnati Children's Hospital
CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- A 14-year-old girl facing brain surgery Thursday at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center donated more than 4,000 toys to the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
Savannah Day is a cheerleader from Troutville, Virginia. She was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation and will be spending Christmas in Cincinnati at the hospital.
Chiari malformation means that the lower part of Savannah's brain is growing outside her skull down onto the upper part of her spine. Because of that the spinal fluid builds up inside the brain. Her surgery will tackle both those problems.
Since her diagnosis in August, Savannah has been very calm and focused on a special project that has kept her busy.
Her and her sisters decided they wanted to help bring joy to the other patients who would also be in the hospital on Christmas. The girls formed the "Cheer 4 Savannah!" toy drive with an original goal of donating 500 toys to patients at the hospital.
Savannah said, "I came up with this idea to help the sick kids get a Christmas at Cincinnati's hospital."
With the help of her cheerleading team, family, friends, community and an outpouring of national support Savannah and her sisters quickly passed their goal. They made a donation of nearly 4,000 toys to Cincinnati Children's Hospital on Wednesday.
Savannah and her family hope that the toys will help brighten Christmas day for the patients who have to spend the holidays in the medical center.
James Day, Savannah's step father, said, "You know, we feel very proud because they put the kids in Cincinnati that are in the hospital for Christmas that aren't really going to get a traditional Christmas; you know they put themselves second to the kids that are here before they ever thought about 'what am I going to get for Christmas, I'm going to miss my Christmas.' It makes us very proud and it shows us that they're thinking about others before they think of themselves."
Thursday will be Savannah's 14th surgery since she was a baby. She originally came to Cincinnati Children's over the summer for migraines and that is when they found her Chiari malformation.
When asked how she keeps her mind off her troubles and medical issues she says she works to focus on the good things and cheerleading helps keeps her busy.
Even though Savannah is scheduled for brain surgery Thursday, Wednesday evening she spent the evening at a local gym working on her trampoline skills.