in 2003, Ryan's dad was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. His dad started aggressive treatments at the City of Hope Cancer Hospital. During Ryan's trips to the hospital is when he realized pediatric patients battling cancer and that for some kids, that Christmas may be their last.
This is when Ryan became inspired.
A year later he used the money in his savings to buy gifts for each child at the hospital and delivered them on Christmas morning with his father.
In 2005, Ryan's father passed away Christmas morning before the toys were delivered.
He knew the toys still needed to be delivered and asked his mom if she would join him in delivering the toys to the children.
He saw the joy in the children's and parents faces and for that moment they were happy.
In 2006 "Wish Upon A Toy" was born! Each year since then they have continued to grow and drop off toys at local churches, restaurants, U.S. banks, Targets and Carmax locations!
In 2009, it expanded to a 2 day event! There is now a separate event where patients have the opportunity to go shopping for their loved ones for free. Adult patients go through a pop up shop and select any gift they want for everyone on their list.
Join Kari Steele this Sunday as she interviews Ryan Russek from Wish Upon A Toy!
Click here to find out drop off locations & more!