By Melissa Garcia
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of sick kids at Children’s Hospital Colorado were able to shop for their families Friday at the Make-A-Wish holiday shopping store.
Since many of the young patients are unable get out to the malls due to their physical conditions, the nonprofit foundation brought the shopping experience to the hospital.
At the Make-A-Wish store’s 31st annual event, volunteers brought holiday cheer and pounds of presents to at least 300 children fighting life-threatening illnesses.
Markus, a 13-year-old patient, headed in to the store to make his holiday shopping wishes come true.
“(It’s) pretty cool,” Markus said. “I didn’t know that the hospital did this.”
He was shopping not only for his family, but also for his new friend Anthony, who also, for now, calls Children’s Hospital his home.
“It’s the Christmas spirit that really helps too,” Markus told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia. “Especially to have one of your friends (who is) going through the same thing.”
Both Markus and Anthony were diagnosed with a type of cancer, osteo-sarcoma, leading to below-the-knee amputations and foot re-attachments that will soon become their new knee joints for prosthetics after they finish chemotherapy.
“And we can go through this stuff together,” Anthony said.
Putting their medical worries aside, the two friends filled their gift bags.
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Children at the event participated in photo opportunities with some of their favorite cartoon and movie characters.
“Being in the hospital makes it hard to have that family time to spend together, and it’s also hard for those kids to go out and get their presents for their family, so we just want to make it as easy as possible for these kids who are so deserving,” explained Sarah Murphy, a spokeswoman for Make-A-Wish Colorado.
From dolls to trucks to books, the store had just about everything a kid could want to give away as gifts.
Patients took photos with Santa and even received help with gift wrapping.
“I like shopping for other people because it’s nice,” Anthony said. “And it’s good to help other people get gifts.”
“Caring is sharing,” Markus added.
Murphy said the Make-A-Wish store gifts are paid for through sponsorship donations.