TROY, Mich. – Every summer the nonprofit organization Bottomless Toy Chest hosts a red carpet event for children fighting cancer. While the event was canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) this year, the organization came up with a plan to celebrate the children in its parking lot.
“These are kids and families who are going through a personal health crisis during a global health crisis,” said Mickey Guisewite, the founder of Bottomless Toy Chest.
The event celebrated one family at a time with everything sanitized in between. Each child was treated like a Hollywood celebrity
“Because I did so much hard work and I get stuff for doing hard work,” said Brandon Tolhurst, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015.
Brandon’s hard work included years of chemotherapy. The red carpet event put his mother at ease knowing her son’s immune system is compromised.
“The fact that like we’re all here as a family, and we’re all enjoying it -- it’s a beautiful day,” Jonelle Tolhurst said. “It’s a great thing.”
While the rest of the world has been locked down since March, that’s been the case for about a year for the Koivula family.
“This is one of the main things that he’s done since he’s been diagnosed,” mother Katie Koivula said.
This year’s version might not have been the usual red carpet event at Emagine Royal Oak, but it still accomplished the Bottomless Toy Chest’s mission.
“The pandemic may be here, but we’re going to find a way to still bring toys, joy and hope to kids who are going through cancer treatment,” Guisewite said.
This year, the organization has teamed up with other organizations to give toys to children affected by the coronavirus, too.