5-year-old girl with liver transplant gets 3-minute shopping spree at Edmonton toy store
A young girl got the chance to take home her favourite toys — a lot of her favourite toys, in fact — thanks to a three-minute-long, unlimited shopping spree at an Edmonton Toys “R” Us store.
Lily is like most five-year-olds: full of energy and enthusiasm. She likes playing outside, riding her bike, swimming, and going to the library. But she hasn’t always been this way. Lily was born with biliary atresia: a childhood disease of the liver in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow.
“When she was two months old, we found out Lily needed a liver transplant,” her mom Haley said. She has spent countless hours at the hospital since she was born.
“Luckily, right before she turned eight months old, she received her liver transplant. Since then she’s done remarkably well.
“A few bumps in the road here and there — she gets hospitalized roughly two times a year — but other than that, if you were to see her, she looks great. You wouldn’t know what she has gone through.”
WATCH: Kent Morrison spoke with Lily and her parents Haley and Mark about their medical journey and what the Toys “R” Us shopping spree means to them.
On Wednesday, Lily, her parents and family members took part in the Starlight Children’s Foundation toy dash at a west Edmonton Toys “R” Us store with the help of Captain Starlight. Her goal was to pick up some My Little Pony toys, a Leap Pad and a bouncy castle. She did that and more!
Lily, with the help of her family, got underway at 7:30 a.m. First stop: the electronics. She filled an entire cart with goodies from that section, including a Nintendo Switch.
Then, into the aisles for dolls, play sets, dress up costumes and other toys, including Nerf guns, Trolls, a Paw Patrol set, and a Little Tikes slide. In total, Lily managed to fill eight shopping carts!
‘I kinda got flustered,” Haley said. “It goes really fast and all of a sudden you’re kinda scrambling, you gotta get everything that’s on your list. But I think we got it all. It was a lot of fun!”
Lily wasn’t the only one who picked up a few toys. Dad got in on the action, too.
“I got a drone,” father Mark said with a smile. “And we got a telescope.”
Toys “R” Us Canada, in partnership with Starlight Childrens Foundation Canada, puts on the shopping spree every year. The annual 3-Minute Dash program was designed to provide seriously ill children with much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.
WATCH: Kent Morrison spoke with Toys “R” Us Canada company president Melanie Teed-Murch about the toy dash
“There were days when it was really dark and scary, and we thought we might actually lose Lily,” Haley said.
“And to have life re-pay it forward and for her to have this opportunity, to see the smile on her face and her running through the store. … It’s, it’s phenomenal.”
Ten families from across the country are chosen to take part each year.
WATCH: One lucky little girl in Edmonton went on a shopping spree on Wednesday morning. You can hardly call it shopping because everything she grabbed was free – part of a special treat for a kid in need of a treat herself. Kent Morrison reports.
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