Augusta cancer survivor collecting donations for Children's Hospital

Augusta cancer survivor collecting donations for Children's Hospital

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - An Augusta teen needs your help to make a big difference at a local hospital. Hunter Piper, a senior at Hephzibah High School, is working on his Eagle Scout project, and it's a unique undertaking.

Hunter is collecting toys to donate to the Children's Hospital of Georgia and said the reason he picked that hospital is because he was once a patient there.

Hunter Piper spent his second-grade year fighting Burkitt's Lymphoma at the Children's Hospital of Georgia.

"They gave me about two weeks to live at that point," he said. "I made a decision to fight. My parents said 'It's up to you. What do you want to do?" And I looked them dead in the eyes and told them, 'Let's fight it.'"

And he fought hard. Hunter is now a seven-year survivor, and wants to give back to the place that helped give him his life.

"This place is like a second home to me," Hunter said.

He's collecting toys, DVDs, art supplies, and more, all for patients in the Children's Hospital.

Kim Allen is the Hematology Oncology Child Life Specialist for the Children's Hospital, said as someone who spent his childhood in these rooms, the toys mean so much more coming from him.

"I think it's like full circle," Allen said. "He was the person who was in the hospital, and somebody was getting him stuff to do, and now it turns around that it's his idea to get stuff for kids."

The toys are used for much more than the playrooms.

"This stuff helps them realize that the hospital isn't such a scary place, that there is some fun things they can do while they're here," Allen said.

Hunter will be delivering the toys to patients next week, and said they serve as a constant reminder of why he always wants to give back.

"Every five seconds somebody was diagnosed, every ten somebody died of it. To me that was kind of like 'Holy cow. I could be that ten seconds,' " said Hunter. "I'd have some of the toughest days, and I remember some of the kids, seeing them smiling and being like 'If they can smile, I can."

Hunter will be collecting toys this Saturday, Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mann Memorial United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall. You can also call 706-814-1214 for more information.

Below is a list of toys, and the donations must be new toys (this is for health reasons). The toys will be used by kids, ranging in age from infants, to teenagers.

  • Art supplies
  • Stuffed animals
  • Hand-held games
  • DVD movies (Rated "G")
  • Board games
  • Card games
  • X Box Games (Rated "E")
  • PS3 Games (Rated "E")
  • Wii Games (Rated "E")
  • Coloring pencils
  • Crayons
  • Coloring books
  • Small projects that can be completed in an hour or less

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