This story comes to us courtesy of a local Rhode Island TV station’s “Small But Strong” news feature, highlighting the strength and tenacity of children.
10-year-old Zoie Mercier and her brother Jacoby both suffer from the rare disease tuberous sclerosis complex, with both children having tumors in their brain, kidneys and heart.
But their constant trips to and from the Boston Children’s Hospital inspired Zoie something to do quite special. She was determined to collect as many gifts as she could for the children who, like her, spend too many of their days in a hospital.
What is Tuberous Sclerosis Complex?
Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic disease that causes noncancerous tumors to grow in many parts of the body. Tuberous sclerosis complex is often detected during infancy or childhood. Some people with tuberous sclerosis complex have mild symptoms that don’t lead to diagnosis until adulthood, while others experience serious hardships.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, including:
- Skin abnormalities
- Facial lesions that resemble acne
- Developmental delays
- Behavior issues
- Kidney issues
- Heart problems
- Lung problems
- Eye abnormalities
Small But Strong
For Zoie, this incredible act of kindness was all about empathy.
“At times, when we go up for MRIs, we can be waiting for three, sometimes four hours before they’re even taken,” Zoie’s mom Jerilyn said. “For them to have a little something to do, it keeps their mind at ease.”
Zoie knows exactly what it feels like to be one of those children. So she started a campaign in 2017 to collect toys for children receiving treatment at the hospital, which proved to be a success.
Then for this year, her goal was to collect 1,000 gifts. But by early December, she already had more than 2,000!
Talk about mission accomplished!
“The doctors are gonna come out and they’re gonna say, ‘Wow,'” Zoie said with a smile.
Zoie said she plans to deliver everything she’s collected in the first week of 2019.
And if anyone who would like to donate more toys and games – Zoie will take ’em!
You can send them to:
Zoie Mercier 43 Eagle Peak Road in Pascoag R.I., 02859.
Thank you, Zoie for your small but strong heart and soul!