California boy organizes toy drive for sick children

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LOS ANGELES, CA – You usually hear about toy drives during the holidays. But one boy, with challenges of his own, saw an opportunity to help sick children and it’s turned into a big success.

Kadin Hoven has the energy of a 10-year-old boy with a body that is failing him due to kidney disease.

“Just in his 10 years he’s gone through two kidney transplants. He’s on dialysis five nights a week. We’re working towards finding a donor for his third kidney transplant,” said Heidi Hoven, Kadin’s mom.

Two weeks ago, Kadin was receiving an infusion at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA when he went into the toy room, where all the young patients can pick something out. The cabinet was nearly empty.

“I thought, ‘Wow.’ I was feeling bad for people who don’t have a lot of stuff to choose from. So, I thought, why not do a donation?” Kadin said.

Kadin approached his mother, a kindergarten teacher, and asked if he could do a toy drive at her school and his.

“I thought, by the beginning, there’s not going to be a lot of donations, but maybe we will get some at least; but, here I am and it is awesome!” he said.

Kadin’s living room is filled with about 250 toys and hundreds of dollars in cash donations.

“I’m just impressed every time I walk into this room,” Kadin said.

“I think when kids see all (the toys) in the cabinet, they’re going to think, ‘My mind is blown.’”

Kadin’s mom says he now wants to make this an annual event.

“He is a selfless, selfless little boy beyond his years,” she said.

Kadin and his family will deliver all of the toys to UCLA next Wednesday, but until then he’s hoping that the toy pile will continue to grow.

If you’re interested in helping Kadin’s program, visiting UCLAHealth.org and make a donation to the
Chase Child Life Program.

By Kristine Lazar

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