For her birthday, Emma Becker had the goal to collect 1,200 pairs of silly socks and in a month, she surpassed her goal, collecting more than 2,500.
She gave the socks to CCMC for oncology patients, and also delivered more than a 1,000 to Yale-New Haven Hospital.
The 12-year-old wanted to spread love and smiles to children in the hospital because she knows what it’s like to be in their shoes.
“I know how other kids feel,” she said. “I just wanna give back.”
Becker has been a patient at CCMC for about four years where she has been treated for Neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes tumors to form in the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Her mother said she is undergoing chemotherapy, because the tumors on her brain are affecting her vision.
“I think it's difficult for any child, it's not a life you would wish for anyone,” her mother Rebecca Donkor said. “She misses out on a lot of things because she’s sick often or she has many medical appointments.”
While at CCMC, Becker was given a “Joy Jar,” from a brain-cancer patient named Jesse, filled with items that would bring her joy. This inspired her to come up with her own idea to put a smile on kids’ faces.
“When I got home I said to my mom, what can I do for the hospital?” Becker said, “So, we came up with a lemonade stand and I collected $300 and I turned it into gift cards and I surprised my nurse with it.”
Last year, for her birthday, Becker took her efforts even further and collected 10,000 containers of Play-Doh for the children at CCMC. Through posts on social media, she was able to spread information about her sock campaign, and collected double the amount of socks she was hoping for.
“Cause hospitals are cold and I just wanted something so they could feel like home,” she said.
Her mother is hoping these efforts will not just make kids happy but raise awareness about Childhood Cancer and encourage more funding.
“A lot of children pass away waiting for a cure that we just don’t have because we’re not getting new treatment,” Donkor said. “Childhood cancer is not rare and it could happen to any of you.”
Becker’s next goal is to collect Halloween costumes for kids at CCMC. She collected costumes the past two years. She said she’s not sure what her campaign will be for her 13th birthday, but she’s planning for something special.
“No matter how big or small you are, you just need an idea to make a lot of other kids happy,” she said.
If you want to help CCMC, you can do so when you buy your Halloween costume.
Hospital officials say Spirit Halloween in Torrington, Ansonia, West Hartford, Middletown, Manchester and Uncasville is giving 10 percent of every order to the hospital, while also giving you 10 percent off. (To receive 10 percent off, you must present following coupon)
Last year, the Spirit of Children campaign raised more than $23,000 for Connecticut Children’s Child Life Department. You can follow Emma’s journey on Facebook here.