PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTXF) - A 5-year-old girl from Lehigh County who started a toy drive for kids at CHOP passed away from brain cancer in early December. But that didn't stop the 'Sassy Massey' team from seeing Jillian Massey's vision come to fruition on Monday.
Last Christmas, then 4-year-old Jillian Massey, of Coopersburg, was battling brain cancer and wanted to donate 100 toys to fellow patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s oncology wing. They, like Jillian, could not be home for the holidays.
In a year’s time, that effort has blossomed into a national drive that brought over 24,000 gifts to sick children at CHOP, A.I. DuPont hospital in Delaware and several other children's medical facilities across the region.
The donated toys were delivered Monday, complete with a police escort that included helicopters, motorcycles, mounted police and K-9s.
"It's amazing to see what's happened the last few weeks," Emmerson told FOX 29. “Looking at these boxes now, I feel like it's Jillian smiling back on every one of the boxes."
The Sassy Massey website and coordination from Amazon has helped generate donations from all over America, as well as several foreign countries.
Many donors included notes with their toys. "May a child enjoy this gift,” read one note. “Thank you for all the inspiration."
Ridley Township police even honored their late friend Jillian with her very own badge and uniform. While she is retired from the service, her loving and spunky spirit live on.
"This whole thing is amazing," Jillian's nurse Jess told FOX 29, adding a note of admiration for the Massey family. "They have changed my life. You can see all the people that Jillian has affected here with us today."
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