MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The season of giving is in full swing and Andres Rodriguez knows that better than most. Doctors gave him a second chance after he was diagnosed with cancer. Now he is giving back to the kids at the cancer center who need a little cheer during the holidays.READ MORE: COVID In Florida: 6,323 New Cases, 74 Deaths Reported On Saturday
“I was a testicular cancer survivor as of September 2013, and my family and I decided to open up this toy drive, it’s been a great success,” said Rodriguez.
The 23-year-old Nova Southeastern University student, going for a degree in medicine, was fortunate enough the cancer was detected early and a simple procedure removed the malignant mass.
Rodriguez’s family said he was so grateful for how the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center treated.
In an effort to reciprocate the appreciation, Rodriguez and his family collected toys for the pediatric patients at Sylvester. He delivered the toys just before Christmas last year.
“It’s the one thing that God intended me to do in this world,” said Rodriguez.READ MORE: Annual Florida Keys Seven-Mile Bridge Run Staged With Coronavirus Protocols
But like Santa, Rodriguez isn’t done giving.
For a second year in a row, the Rodriguez family – along with Saint Kevin Catholic School – collected more than 1,300 toys to be given to children going through cancer battles of their own at the cancer center.
“We’re very honored to be part of a great community here in South Florida and we’re looking to make this an event,” said Rodriguez. “Every year, every year, you can count on it.”
On Monday, Rodriguez passed out Barbies, Legos, Nerf guns and other toys – but more than anything else, joy.
“Nothing makes me happier than to see smiles on these kids’ faces,” said Rodriguez.
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