TEN-YEAR-OLD Hollie Kyle is brightening up Christmas for kids who will spend the big day in hospital – despite battling health problems of her own.
The Monk Bretton youngster is one of only a handful of children her age with juvenile arthritis but it didn’t stop her deciding to launch a toy donation project to help others.
Hollie Kyle’s home on Nettlecroft, Monk Bretton, resembles a branch of toy giant Smyths due to the success of the appeal which has seen family, friends, her school and medics back her campaign.
Hollie is due to drop off the items at Sheffield Children’s Hospital – where she has received treatment for her arthritis for more than a year – later today.
Hollie’s mum, Laura Kyle, said: “It started off as such a nice, simple idea to help other children in hospital and it’s just kind of snowballed since she first began collecting in September.
“Having been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and having spent a lot of time at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Hollie is keen to give something back.
“Family members have taken it to their workplaces and the groups they attend – we’ve been so overwhelmed by the sheer generosity of people.
“We’re so proud of Hollie as although she’s been going through treatment at the hospital, she just wanted to help others.
“We’ve got car loads to take to the hospital today so I think they will be very impressed by Hollie’s efforts.
“She just wanted to make others smile this Christmas so we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s supported Hollie’s appeal.”
Arthritis – often associated with older people – can also affect children in rare occurrences.
Most types of childhood arthritis are known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
JIA causes pain and inflammation in one or more joints for at least six weeks.
Although there is no cure, some children with arthritis achieve permanent remission, which means the disease is no longer active, but any physical damage to the joint will remain.
Its exact cause is unknown, the symptoms often improve as a child gets older, meaning they can lead a normal life – and Hollie’s treatment is set to continue following her diagnosis.
Her grandma, Rita Halligan, paid tribute to the youngster for helping others.
She added: “It was all her own idea and we couldn’t be more proud of her – she’s taken her treatment in her stride and has made so much progress at the hospital.
“It’s an amazing place and they’ve helped us so much – the staff are absolutely brilliant.
“It’s been overwhelming seeing the donations flooding in and hopefully Hollie’s idea will lead to others smiling this Christmas despite being in hospital.”