Lifestyle & Human Interest

5-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Given Shopping Spree Decides To Spread Hope Instead of Keeping Toys


Five-year-old Zander Wiles bounded up and down the toy aisles at Burlington Coat Factory with joy, placing $150 worth of toys into his cart as part of a shopping spree to celebrate the news that he is cancer-free.

The past five years of fighting cancer have been tough on Zander and his family, but now, the little boy is focused on a bright future, starting with giving hope to other children with cancer.

At just 8 months old, little Zander was diagnosed with leukemia. He has spent the majority of his life in and out of chemotherapy treatment at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to WXMI.

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It seemed fitting that Zander and his mom, Brooke Wiles, chose to donate the toys from Zander’s shopping spree back to the hospital that helped save the boy’s life.

Zander chose one toy for himself and one toy for his sister before happily adding items to the cart that he thought other kids would enjoy.

Wiles said she and her family have received a wealth of support during her son’s cancer journey and are happy to pass the support along to others.

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

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

Reflecting on her son’s initial cancer diagnosis, Wiles remembered the emotions that ran through her heart and mind.

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

The Wiles family sees each day they get together as a gift, thankful that Zander’s leukemia is in remission.

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Zander’s family believes the young boy is going to be just fine, and are eager to enter into a new chapter of Zander’s life.

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

With a cartful of toys piled high, Zander had the chance to experience just how great it feels to give to kids in need.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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