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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Christmas Day is still more than a week away but for the young patients at the Holtz Children’s Hospital, they got an early jump on the gift-giving holiday.

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Santa Claus stopped by Thursday with enough toys for the nearly 200 children who are sick.

The Miami-Dade League of Cities arranged the visit with old Saint Nick, as it has for the last nine years. The quick stop makes all the difference to these kids, many of whom are hospitalized for weeks, or even months, at a time.

19-month-old Blake has been a patient for a month now with an immune disorder that causes him to bruise easily and bleed out with even the smallest of injuries. Not only did he see Santa, doctors told him he’s ready to leave two weeks shy of the predicted six weeks he was supposed to stay for.

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“We have been so blessed. That, I have to say, because we didn’t see Blake as a sick child and we came down here and we put God in front,” said the baby’s grandmother, Casseta Findlay. “God is first and we just leave everything into his hands.”

Mayors and other leaders from around the country make up Santa’s entourage for the day, meeting and greeting the children, and hearing their stories first-hand.

“It’s very close to home,” said Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, who has a 3-year-old at home. “Every time I walk into one of the rooms and I see the children smile, I’m also reminded of the pain the families must be feeling to have to experience this ordeal. So I just feel very blessed for the health of my child and very blessed that there’s an institution like this.”

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“It’s really a moving time to be able to see a smile come to a kid’s face and somebody who’s actually stuck and spending the holidays in the hospital, that’s priceless,” said North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo.