Christmas is a time for thinking of others, but to Makailyn Bradley, 9, of Catlettsburg, so is her birthday.
The only child of Stephanie Bradley of Catlettsburg and Tim Bradley of South Point turned 9 on Dec. 5 but had a party on Dec. 1. She told family and friends she didn’t want any gifts for herself; she just wanted people to donate hats, scarves and gloves for chemotherapy patients at King’s Daughters Medical Center. The hospital has a program to donate such items to patients of all ages leaving the hospital in need.
“On the invitations, we asked that they not bring gifts but to bring a donation,” Mrs. Bradley said.
About four months ago, Mrs. Bradley said her daughter was watching television. She went into the room to ask her what she’d like for her birthday.
“She said, ‘Am I going to have a party?’ and I said, ‘Yes, if that’s what you want to do.’ She said “I want to do something for people,’ and this was what she decided she wanted to do,” Mrs. Bradley said.
The 9-year-old student at Catlettsburg Elementary School has lost aunt uncle to cancer and her grandmother is a five-year cancer survivor. She also has a classmate who has had cancer surgery, so she is familiar with the disease and the complications it can cause.
“I was very much surprised when she told me this is what she wanted to do,” her mother said. “It caught me off guard because we hadn’t discussed it. She came up with it on her own.”
The girl’s drive raised 64 pairs of gloves, 40 hats and 18 scarves. Mrs. Bradley said teachers at her daughter’s school continue taking donations. She also said she suspects this will be the first of many other projects to help others that her daughter will spearhead.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.