EXCLUSIVE: local boy organizes toy drive for pediatric patients at Mass General

Western Mass News spoke exclusively with the boy and his mom to find out what inspired his unique Christmas wish.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:07 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - One western Massachusetts elementary student is organizing a toy drive for kids in one hospital across the state.

Western Mass News spoke exclusively with the boy and his mom to find out what inspired his unique Christmas wish.

“He’s getting so much enjoyment out of this every time a package is delivered,” said Sherri Conway. “He is so excited, he can’t wait.”

One East Longmeadow third grader had a very special wish this Christmas – to make sure all the kids at Mass General Hospital had a toy this holiday season.

Max Conway has been a patient at the hospital in Boston for 4 years now to treat a rare autoimmune disease called EGPA.

“He’s, like, really a number of one locally that he’s been written in medical journals and stuff, and so, we have to get our treatment for him in Mass General,” Sherri, Max’s mom, told us.

Now that Mass General has helped to give Max the gift of life, he decided to spread some holiday cheer and pay it forward by bringing gifts to kids spending Christmas in a hospital bed.

“I’ve got gifts in the hospital and I like it, so I thought other kids to get them, too,” Max said. “Because I didn’t really have anything to do except stare at my IV.”

Western Mass News spoke exclusively with Max and his mom, who told us that it all started with a unique letter to Santa asking for presents to go to kids who he called, “sicker than him.”

“And so, I thought it was really sweet and I told him I was so proud of him, but I kind of just left it at that, and next thing I knew, I was being contacted by students in his class, parents, and the principals, asking where the toys can be donated, and he kinda ran with it on his own,” Sherri explained.

She said that Max started the toy collection all by himself, bringing home gifts from school that students and staff had donated to the cause. From there, the Conways took to social media and began reaching out to close family and friends to donate. They then created an Amazon wish list with toys in the $20 range, and in no time at all, hundreds of packages started arriving at their home.

“Mass General is ready for us,” Sherri said. “I told them more than we anticipated, but they know who Max is, and so, they’re so, like, overwhelmed, happy. All the doctors at Mass General are like, ‘We would expect nothing less ‘cause he’s just that kind of kid.’”

All the gifts will be delivered to Mass General next Wednesday, December 21st.

You can find the link to the Amazon wish list here.