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Young girl creates charity to help kids not fear hospital visits

Myanna Kempton created Myanna's Heart Totes to make gift bags for kids after open heart surgery.

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. — We are celebrating a young girl who knows first-hand how scary it can be for kids to be in the hospital.

Myanna Kempton was just 5 months old, and 8 pounds, when she had to have open heart surgery. She was just 5 years old when she had spinal surgery.

But instead of just thinking about herself at that young age, she told her mom, Sheri, that other kids should have toys and other things that made them feel less afraid while hospitalized.  

That's when Myanna's Dream was born.

"At that point she started telling us things she wanted to give to other children,” Sheri said. “She said ‘they all need a blanket, they need a stuffed animal. Mommy they need things to play with.’"

That was five years ago. Myanna’s mission of offering kids of all ages “comfort, hope, and love” after open heart surgery continues!

The non-profit is now called "Myanna's Heart Totes." 

Myanna and her mom have personally sorted and delivered over 500 "heart totes" to children they call "heart warriors" after open heart surgery at Inova Children's Hospital, and around the world.  They also deliver what they call "bereavement boxes" to families who have lost a child to congenital heart defects. Included in the gift bags is a special shirt designed by Myanna.

"She had a rainbow shirt when she was seven,” says Myanna’s mom. “And we wrote the words ‘I am stronger than my storm.’ And that's because we sort of talked about it feeling like a storm when you are going through this. “And for Myanna this was the rainbow, this was God's promise after the storm"

Myanna and Sheri can do this with the help of toy drives, fundraisers, and online donations.

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