Tualatin mother creates "Tucker''s Toybox" to honor late son.
Posted: Aug 03, 2011 2:44 PM PDT Updated: Aug 31, 2011 6:02 PM PDT By Nicole Doll - email
*Note: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) cure rates for kids are nearly 80%. The paticular type of ALL Tucker had was ALL with t(17;19) translocation which has yet to be cured.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A Tualatin mother is honoring her son's dying wish by making monthly trips to donate toys to children at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
Eleven-year-old Tucker Arnold was diagnosed with a rare form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a chemotherapy-resistant, incurable cancer, in March 2010. He suffered through eleven months of treatment before passing away in February 2011.
Tucker spent his eleventh birthday in the pediatric cancer center at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland. Showered by gifts from family and friends, Tucker decided to share his birthday presents with other pediatric cancer patients in the unit.
His mother loaded the presents, along with Tucker who was too ill to walk, into a wagon, and they went from room to room handing out presents to the other children.
On that day, Tucker's Toy box was born. When Tucker knew his battle with leukemia was coming to an end, he asked his mother to continue Tucker's Toy box.
"I asked him did he want us to plant a tree or buy a brick with his name on it at Doernbecher," said Jen Arnold, Tucker's mother. "He said, ' Mom, I want you to do the charity, I want you to do Tucker's Toy Box.' But he started to cry and said, 'Mom, I don't think you'll have enough money to buy all those toys.'"
Through word-of-mouth, Jen Arnold has collected dozens of toys. She loads them into a brightly-colored wooden wagon and distributes them once a month to children with cancer at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
She said Tucker had a generous spirit; it was his wish to share with others. The toys, she said, provide an escape for children suffering through painful procedures and a chance to simply play.
In addition to Tucker's Toy Box, Arnold has founded the Tucker Arnold Foundation. The non-profit foundation is working to fund a research grant for rare pediatric cancers and to provide support for single parents whose children are suffering from the disease.
For more information about Tucker's Toy Box or the Tucker Arnold Foundation, go to their website, tuckerstoybox.org
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