Family donates to Children's Hospital in memory of 4-yr-old son - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family donates to Children's Hospital in memory of 4-yr-old son

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CHATTANOOGA - A Winchester family who spent many months living at the Children's Hospital at Erlanger is giving back in their child's memory. The family of young Landyn Statham returned with three cars full of donated gifts for sick children who are staying there.

Four-year-old Landyn was diagnosed with brain cancer in February, 2013.

"We were here from February until about April," said his mother Kayla Ventress, "We did not leave, we were here straight through."
Landyn fought against the cancer for months. During that time the Children's Hospital became his second home. He passed away Jan. 14, 2014.

"He was proof that cancer is not that rare in children," Ventress said, "It happens way too often, and there is something we can do to make it better, you know?"
Landyn's family and friends came back to deliver hundreds of toys. They remember how much young Landyn enjoyed getting gifts when he was staying here.

"I can't imagine a better way to honor his memory," said Child Nurse Specialist Maggie Akridge, "He was so playful and loved playing with toys, and dinosaurs and cars and always let us know exactly what he needed."

"Since he can't be here I would like to give kids a good Christmas, from him," Landyn's mother said.

Because of Landyn's Christmas gift donations, young Anna Claire is spending her day dressed as a princess.

"I could just tell her eyes lit up when they brought that in," said mother Andrea Mayo, "And it was just really cool so we're very thankful."

Landyn's gifts will go to children who have to spend time in the hospital during the holidays.

Nurses say having more toys for children who stay here can really help in their recovery.  

"Play is a child's job and so if we're able to provide toys and play with them in the hospital we're able to make this more normal," Akridge said, "So I think it absolutely makes all the difference in the world."

Landyn's mother, Kayla Ventress, said she would have been happy collecting 50 gifts to donate but they collected around 1,200 toys to drop off at the Children's Hospital Wednesday in Landyn's memory.
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