5-year-old cancer survivor gets shopping spree, donates most toys

KENTWOOD, Mich. — Five-year-old Zander Wiles’ leukemia is in remission. He was diagnosed at just 8 months old, and underwent two years of chemotherapy.

Wednesday afternoon, Zander got the surprise every kid dreams of: a shopping spree at Burlington Coat factory, with a cart full of as many toys as he could fit inside it.

“It feels a little overwhelming, it’s really reassuring and good that everyone comes together to support the leukemia lymphoma society,” Zander’s mom, Brooke Wiles, said.

But Zander and his mom have other plans for the toys.

“That’s why we wanted to share the donation with the hospital. Because we’ve received a lot of support,”  Wiles said.

Zander picked out one toy for him and his sister, and the rest are going to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. Wiles said it’s an important lesson in giving back. She said the family has received so much support throughout Zander’s fight with leukemia, it just felt like the right thing to do.

“It was very surreal. It was hard for us. But we felt very comfortable with the care we received at DeVos,” Wiles said.

Zander had a blast picking out toys for other kids. His mom says, they are grateful for every day they have together, and even more thankful Zander is doing great. That’s why it’s so important for them to give other families the same hope they have.

“We are really are looking forward to the future,”  Wiles said.


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