PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two girls whose lives were saved at the Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia are spending another summer organizing a big thank you present.
They were patients at CHOP but only met when their moms, who went to the same high school, reconnected on Facebook. Their chance meeting led to a non-profit to help every CHOP patient play.
Bronwyn Hansen, 11, and Sophia Giamo, 13, know what it’s like to be a kid stuck in the hospital. In 2014, Sophia had a dangerous bout with the flu.
“I had to get surgery and they had to put a tube through my back into the lung,” Sophia said in 2016.
A year later, Bronwyn had brain surgery to repair a malformation in her blood vessels. “It was tiring and painful,” Bronwyn said.
What kept them going? Toys from the Child Life specialists at CHOP. So Sophia and Bronwyn started CHOP DROP and donated hundreds of toys in 2016.
“It felt awesome,” Sophia said. “It felt so good to give back.”
This summer, CHOP DROP is back at it and it’s officially a nonprofit.
Sophia’s mother, Colleen Giamo of Blue Bell, said, “We turned CHOP DROP into Bronwyn’s and Sophia’s CHOP DROP Inc.”
Bronwyn’s mother, Cory Shay of Princeton, has high hopes. “We want to collect tons of toys. We want to collect lots of gift cards and monetary donations,” she said.
Bronwyn and Sophia’s sisters, 12-year-old Georgia Hansen and 9-year-old Charlie Mae Giamo, have been their biggest supporters.
“We decided that we wanted to help them,” Georgia said.
“I’m hoping that all the kids still have the toys from last year and are having even more fun with these,” Charlie Mae said.
CHOP DROP will be collecting until around mid-August, organizing through social media. The basement looks like a kids’ playroom dream.
“We have a bunch of games and like learning items, baby toys,” Sophia said.
“I’m going to let CHOP have them,” Bronwyn said, “because they deserve them. And I don’t.”
They’ll drop them off later this summer.
“We’re probably going to need a big truck like last year,” Bronwyn said.
You can get in touch with CHOP DROP through its Facebook page.