AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The 18th Annual Cares for Kids Radiothon is taking donations for Georgia Children’s Hospital from December 6 through the 8th at 1 p.m. One 8 year old patient, Reese Smith, raised over $15,500 to donate this year. That’s the largest single check from anyone.
Reese and his family raised the money at a boiled peanut stand. Reese wanted to start selling lemonade to people to raise money for the hospital, and because of where they live in Washington, his mom thought that adding boiled peanuts to the stand would be a good idea. Every Saturday that the Georgia Bulldogs played a home game in the 2018 season, Reese and his family sat out at the stand and sold boiled peanuts and lemonade to locals, Augustans driving by and Georgia Bulldog fans on their way to the game. This is additionally exceptional, because doctors didn’t think Reese would make it this far in life.
Alicia Smith, Reese’s mom, said, “Reese has been a patient since before he was born.” She explained that he was born with multiple birth defects and suffered from kidney failure. He visits doctors every few weeks for check-ups, and has been in and out of the hospital his entire life. Still, he’s focused on giving back to the place that helped him have life.
Catherine Stewart, Associate Director of Development for GA Children’s, said, “Last year, he came to Radiothon and he told me, he said, ‘Mrs. Catherine, when I come next year, I’m bringing you the biggest check that anyone’s ever brought,’ and low and behold, he did it.” Reese said it’s important to donate to the hospital. He said, “We have to help them be healthy and strong.”
Reese hopes that the money he donated will go toward building a new playroom on the 5th floor of the hospital, where he normally stays. He wants kids like him, that are immunocompromised, to be able to escape the doctors and medicine for a little bit and just be a kid, and with an updated playroom, they will be able to do just that.
For now, he said he is looking forward to his birthday party next week, which is themed for Buddy the Elf. If you want to follow Reese on his journey, you can like his Facebook page.