A smile, small toy, or a fleece pillow might seem insignificant, but it means a lot to children at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia a ray of comfort during a difficult time. These small acts of kindness has earned 12 year old Dustin Darby the October Kids Wish Network’s Hero of the Month. The Kids Wish Network is a national children’s charity that has various programs, including wish-granting for children with life-threatening illnesses and the Hero of the Month program, which recognizes children with nonlife-threatening illnesses who have faced many difficulties and often endured a lot of pain.
The organization cooperates with many organizations from around the country and awards one child per facility the award. Recipients are awarded with a medal, certificate, t shirt, and a retail gift card. Dustin suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, more commonly known as brittle bone disease, and has broken more than 120 bones and had more surgeries than most grown adults. He received the award not only for the pain that he has endured, but for the fact that his family buys small gifts for the children at Shiner’s and makes IV pillows for them. Dustin also talks to children before they get surgery in an attempt to comfort them and help them through their experience.
Dustin is also a hunter and, thanks to the Tony Semple Foundation for Hope, was chosen to be one of four disabled hunters flown to Michigan for a hunting trip in September 2007. When given a $400 gift certificate, Dustin also offered to take one of the nurses from the hospital to Wal-Mart and buy her a few things, but she declined explaining that it was his money and he could spend it however he wanted. It’s good to see children at a young age reaching out to others and putting them before themselves. Perhaps the entire world could learn something from 12 year old Dustin Darby.
Tags: Acts of Kindness
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