Brianna Bosick knows what it feels like to be a sick kid staying at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which is why she offered her piggy bank to help buy gifts for the kids there now.
Brianna was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was in kindergarten. Today, she’s an eighth-grader at Emge Junior High School in Belleville. Her mom, Lisa Bosick, said Brianna still has the tumor, but that it has been stable for the last eight years.
When she heard about her school’s coin drive to buy stuffed animals for sick children, Brianna donated all the change she had — a total of $80.30. Lisa Bosick said Brianna had been saving the money since her birthday in June.
“She got tears in her eyes and said, ‘I can just start over, mom. I just want to help, and they need it more than me,’” Lisa Bosick said.
The original goal was to purchase 70 stuffed animals, one for each bed on the oncology floor of the hospital, according to James Williams, a special education teacher in Harmony-Emge District 175. But Williams, who led the effort, said the students at the junior high and the Harmony Intermediate Center raised $1,204.28, which was enough money to give stuffed animals to every child in the 280-bed hospital.
And Brianna wasn’t the only student to donate her savings; Williams said nearly 20 students brought piggy banks full of coins to school. One Harmony Intermediate sixth grader, Julian Phillips, donated his reserves of $100.80 in coins.
Like Brianna, Williams was passionate about the cause because of his personal experience with cancer. He was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor, four years ago. His tumor has since been removed, and he’s currently in remission.
“I can recall being in a treatment bed when out of the blue, someone would come in with a treat to brighten up my day,” Williams said.
He says Brianna also helped him during that time.
“She shared her experiences with me as I endured treatment for my brain tumor at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, Mo.,” he said.
She got tears in her eyes and said, ‘I can just start over, mom. I just want to help, and they need it more than me.’
Lisa Bosick on her daughter Brianna’s donation to the coin drive