Cancer Survivor Collects Thousands Of Toys For Local Children

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Torneisha Ghent’s two-year-old daughter Lasheema was diagnosed with sickle-cell disease. She has had 51 blood transfusions.

But on Monday they had a special surprise during her procedure as Andres Rodriguez made sure Santa came early for these children.

Andres was diagnosed with testicular cancer during the summer of 2013. Luckily, it was detected early and a simple procedure removed the malignant mass.

“It was a very difficult time for my family and it was dark but it transformed the way I looked at things and gave me a different perspective,” said Andres.

That change manifested into a toy drive for the hospital that took care of him.

The University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center took care of Andy every step of the way. This is the third year he’s giving back to them and their patients.

“I felt that this place is very important in our community. This is the best place for cancer treatment. They took such great care of me. A 21-year-old kid coming out of college.”

He and his family collected more than 3,000 toys and $5,000 in donations and delivered them Monday morning.

“Getting that diagnosis three years ago, I was a different person. And giving back and seeing the kids smile means the world to me to all of us,” Andres said.

He brought many smiles and Christmas spirit to all the boys and girls that need cheering up during this holiday season.

Andres hopes to give back in the future as well. He is currently in med school and hopes to be a doctor one day.

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