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Kinley’s Annual Toy Drive is Entering its 5th Year

Most children look forward to all the toys they will get on their birthday, but for Kinley, a birthday means she can donate toys to the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

While this may appear like any other toy drive, this particular toy drive is close to Kinley’s heart.

Kinley Hildebrandt, a spunky and happy little 6 year old, has spent more time in the hospital than most people have in their entire lifetime. Kinley was diagnosed with a rare liver disease when she was only two and half months old. Biliary atresia is rare, and if left untreated may cause death before the child is two years of age. Due to her condition Kinley and her family have spent more than their fair share in hospitals in Saskatoon and Edmonton over the years. Last year Kinley was finally able to receive a liver transplant in Edmonton. After 107 days (100 of which were spent in the Ronald McDonald House) Kinley returned home last June.

Since the surgery the little dancer has been doing well, though the surgery was not a complete cure. In order to prevent her body from rejecting the liver, Kinley will have to take anti-rejection medication the rest of her life, resulting in a lower immune system.

Time spent in the hospital is never fun, especially when one is a small child. Kinley’s mom, Candis, recalls a time when Kinley had to be admitted when only two years old. She was sick, grumpy and out of sorts, until the recreational nurse came along with donated toys. Hildebrandt called the toys a “lifesaver.”  “It was a total game changer for us and made the hospital stay so much more bearable.”

Kinley playing with donated items at the hospital over the years – Images courtesy of Candis Hildebrandt

 

Due to their experiences in the hospital, the Hildebrandt family has wanted to help other families in similar situations. Five years ago, they started an annual donation toy drive for children in the hospital. “We started doing this as we saw how it made Kinley so happy to have new things to keep busy with,” shares Candis, “And there is always a need of items!”

The goal is to collect new toys for the hospital, where they will be used to help children pass the time. Often a family is admitted unexpectedly and parents have nothing to help entertain their child.

The toys are delivered just before Kinley’s birthday in April, hence the drive being named, “Kinley’s Annual Birthday Drive”. This year the donated toys will be delivered on April 6th to the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

Kinley playing with donated items at the hospital over the years – Images courtesy of Candis Hildebrandt

For those who are interested in donating, you can donate items or make a monetary donation by contacting Candis at cmhilde20@gmail.com. Items can be dropped off at at Assante on mainstreet in Kindersley on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

All items and toys need to be new.

Since the delivery date is April 6th, all items need to be purchased and ready to go by April 3rd.

In this year’s drive some of the most needed items include: colouring books (with small pack of crayons), board books or sensory toys for toddlers. All-inclusive craft kits or LEGO sets (no bulk LEGO) or playing card such as UNO for older children. For a complete list of suggested items visit the Facebook Page, “Kinley’s Journey With Biliary Atresia.”

Every donation counts and Candis Hildebrandt shared her appreciation on the Facebook page, “Thank you all for your generosity, we appreciate all donations!”

Feature Images: Kinley and the 2019 toy drive – submitted by Candis Hildebrandt 

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