Toys Keep Tyler Garcia’s Memory Alive at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach
2011-12-19 · By Editor
Tyler Garcia’s mother, Amber Garcia remembers how her son’s face lit up when he received presents while he was a cancer patient at Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. Tyler suffered brain cancer, but eventually went into remission after a brave battle. However, Tyler’s life was taken when he was struck by a car in 2005. Despite her tragic loss, she returns to Miller Children’s every year with Tyler’s grandfather, John Hinton, to give out holiday gifts in his memory.
Each year, John Hinton and Amber Garcia bring loads of toys for kids of all ages. Multiple red wagons are loaded to the brim at Miller Children’s, filled with all different toys. Children are excited to receive special gifts, such as basketballs, puzzles, large stuffed animals and even brand new bicycles. Toys are collected all-year-long through the Tyler Garcia Toy Drive, so when the holidays approach there is no shortage of presents for patients at Miller Children’s.
This event and many others like it are coordinated through the Child Life Program at Miller Children’s to help make the hospital experience more positive for children of all ages. Child Life specialists plan individualized and group programs that help children adjust to their hospital stay and promote the continuity of normal, daily childhood activities.
“I’ve been now coming for eight years,” says Hinton. “And I’ll continue to come every year until I can’t anymore.”