Massillon girl with leukemia collects thousands of socks for other young patients

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CLEVELAND (WJW)-- A collection of hundreds of pairs of socks and slippers was delivered to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland on Thursday.

The boxes of socks were collected by 9-year-old Addison Tolley, a fourth grader at Lohr Elementary School in Stark County's Perry Township.

Addison is battling leukemia and started her "Sock It To Cancer" campaign to lift the spirits of other young patients during the holiday season.

"Because I wore a lot of silly socks when I was in the hospital, and it's really fun to have fun socks on, because it just makes everything better," Addison said.

Addison's mom said while the fourth grader was being treated at Akron Children's Hospital earlier this year, she asked for suggestions on how she could give back to the kids in her unit who had supported her.

"It's almost indescribable. She has been through so much, any kid who's been through cancer. I mean, the heartbreak, the struggle that they go through,” Bethany Tolley said. “It's unbelievable to me that out of all of this, she came out and she's just thinking of others."

Addison originally set a goal of collecting 500 pairs of socks, but as the story of her campaign began to spread online and on FOX 8 News, she was able to collect more than 3,500 pairs.  She said she was overwhelmed by the response.

"Northeast Ohio just shows up every time and they always help their own," the girl's mother said.

Staff members at Rainbow, who work with young patients and their families, said Addison is providing a ray of sunshine through her selflessness.

"I think that was terrific. She's thinking more for others than herself and that is just super fantastic," said Cheryl Davis, Rainbow Family Center Liaison.

After unloading all of the boxes loaded with socks and slippers, Addison said, "I hope they feel happy about it.”

"I know that it's not going to cure anything, but I know that it's going to give them a relief in that moment of being a kid and being excited over something soft to put on their feet," Bethany said.

Addison will turn 10 years old on Sunday and her family has organized a birthday card shower to celebrate. You can send a card to: Addison Tolley, 7248 Crusader St. SW, Massillon, OH 44646

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