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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An amazing act of selflessness on Christmas. A South Jersey boy had a simple request for Santa that is going to make a difference in the lives of strangers.

A typical 8-year-old might ask for Eagles gear or toys from Santa, but this Deptford boy had a different idea and now his Christmas wish is going to help kids with cancer.

Michael Bell, 8, and his older sister Kadence woke before the sun came up Christmas morning.

He got an Eagles jacket and a Jimmy Butler 76ers’ jersey.

Credit: CBS3

His real wish, however, was revealed a week ago to a Deptford Santa Claus.

His mom Amy said at first, she thought something was wrong – after all, Santa was waving her over.

“He pulls me aside and tells me that Michael asked if he could borrow some money for kids with cancer,” said Bell.

Santa’s reaction, Michael said, “I’ll have to see about that.”

Earlier that day, Michael was at Children’s Hospital for a routine MRI reading.

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He has neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that can cause tumors to form.

Michael is okay, he is monitored regularly by doctors.

“We’ve been in the hospitals and stuff, but I didn’t realized he noticed all the children,” said Amy.

Amy said word spread among friends and colleagues about Michael’s special request.

A Christmas wish was granted.

“Well there was a card under the platform, I thought I was all done and then I looked to platform and saw something under the platform, took it out – and there was a million hundred dollars. Well, not really that much,” said Michael.

Michael and his family will donate $1,200 for pediatric brain cancer research. A card accompanying the money called Michael “A shining star.”

“It just makes you feel proud as a parent, just proud,” said Michael’s father.

Seeing Christmas through the eyes of their 8-year-old son and Amy said her faith is renewed.

“People heard the story, they were just moved and I guess for and 8-year-old being so selfless, we could learn a lot from that. The adults could learn a lot from an 8-year-old being selfless,” said Amy.