DETROIT – Thursday is Tons of Toys Day at Children's Hospital in Detroit, which means Southeast Michigan's youngest hospital patients received brand-new holiday gifts straight from the North Pole.
The men and women of Children's Hospital work to make treatment for childhood cancer as pleasant as possible. They got some help from the mother of a cancer patient who saw the need to step up that effort.
The Bottomless Toy Chest started a decade ago. Mickey Guestwite's son had cancer, and she decided to start a charity to help the families.
"Cancer treatment is terrible any time of the year, but I would say it is really tough during the holiday season, and we created Tons of Toys to create a sense of normalcy during a tough time," Guestwite said.
Karla Argueta, 12, has leukemia, but she found her smile Thursday.
"It's just amazing to come somewhere where you're getting medicine, but not just medicine -- gifts as well," Karla said.
For a few minutes, dozens of children forgot about their pain and treatment.
Clinton Township mother Suzy Vinette, whose son, Braden, is getting an annual checkup, said the toys improved everyone's mood.
"It takes a lot out of us to see these kids sick like this," Vinette said. "It breaks our heart, but to see them smiling at all the presents and everything today, I'm happy."
The Bottomless Toy Chest is now a regional program serving a dozen hospitals in several states.
There are Chevrolet Silverados in the showrooms of Chevy dealerships where toys can be donated. The gifts will be gathered and shipped in a week.