Toy drive helps young patients at Duke

Help fill Grayson’s Treasure Chest

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Grayson Thorne and his family are once again collecting toys for children at Duke Children’s Hospital.

Last year, Grayson’s Treasure Chest collected roughly $6,500 worth of toys, according to Grayson’s mom, Leigh Ann Thorne-Boyette.

“We had to rent a U-Haul trailer to pull to Duke for delivery,” she said.

Grayson, a seventh-grader at Springfield Middle School, was diagnosed last year with Myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease.

While he was a patient at Duke that first summer after his diagnosis, he was allowed to pick a toy from a large toy box. Duke staff give the toys as an encouragement. He chose a mini basketball goal. But most of the toys were for younger children.

Grayson and his family decided they wanted to help other children in similar circumstances and started the toy drive last year.

This year’s collection sites are Blissful Boutique, Deans Farm Market, P.L. Woodard and Company, JFS Power Equipment and Marsh Swamp Free Will Baptist Church. Grayson’s dad, Brad Thorne, is also putting out a box where he works, Starr Electric Company in Raleigh.

Groups and businesses are participating including Rock Ridge 4-H, St. Mary’s 4-H, SAS Institute and Springfield Middle School.

Thorne-Boyette said the entire school is collecting toys for Grayson’s Treasure Chest.

To follow Duke’s strict infection control policy, all donated toys must be new and in their original packaging.

The family will be collecting toys through the end of December and will deliver them when they go to Duke in January for Grayson’s appointment.

Contact Thorne-Boyette at leighannj@ymail.com with any questions or to arrange a pickup of toys.

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810