WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A 9-year-old boy from Columbus County just returned home from delivering 19 boxes filled with gifts to St. Jude Children’s Hospital to celebrate his birthday.
What started as a birthday wish about six months ago, just turned into a reality for Brayden Suggs. It all started when Brayden was talking to his mom about what he wanted to do for his birthday this year.
“My mama asked me, ‘Did I want to go on a cruise? I said, ‘No. I want to go to St. Jude,'” Brayden said.
“Because the kids at St. Jude, they’re not like us,” Brayden said. “They can’t go to school. They can’t go outside a lot. They’re stuck in a hospital all day.”
“He’s always been like that,” Brayden’s mom Karen Hardy said. “Any kid that’s sick or handicap, he’s always had a special heart for them.”
Brayden’s mom Karen Hardy said he has always been like this, but she never expected what happened next.
“We were just going to give him money, take him shopping, and let him buy stuff and take it to St. Jude and it ended up way bigger than that,” Hardy said.
With help from the community, his wish became a reality as they packed up a pick up truck with 19 boxes filled with thousands of dollars worth of toys and supplies to take to St. Jude in Memphis Tennessee.
“What was your favorite part of the trip?”
“Putting the stuff at St. Jude, because when we walked in the warehouse, you would think there would be like a hundred boxes on each wall,but there were actually like 1 or 2 boxes on each wall,” Brayden said.
Brayden said he was not old enough to take a tour inside the hospital, but that did not stop him from meeting a little boy he saw outside.
“About my age and he was in a wheelchair and he had a hat on and his dad was pushing his I.V. Right next to him and I gave $20 dollars to him,” Brayden said.
“What was his reaction to that?”
“His grandpa started crying and said Thank you.”
That was the best part of the trip for his mom.
“When I saw the tears in the grandfather’s eyes, I had to walk away, because I could tell, you know, to me that made the whole trip worth it, because I could just tell that he really appreciated it,” Hardy said.
It was a moment that reminded Brayden of what that this birthday wish was worth sharing.
“We don’t know how lucky we are,” Brayden said. “We could be in that wheelchair one day.”
Brayden said he is already planning to go again next year.