It’s the innocence of childhood in its purest form, and it’s something her mother, Cristina Thoms, wishes all the patients at the Janeway Children’s Hospital can experience.
That’s why the Maria Thoms Project was started after Maria was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour when she was three-and-a-half-years-old.
In a previous story with the Beacon, Thoms said the tumour was the size of an orange. A doctor at the Janeway Children’s Hospital operated, saving her life. However, only 90 per cent of the tumour could be removed, as any more would have been life-threatening.
Since the operation, Maria has been going back and forth to the Janeway for MRIs. A November visit indicated the tumor had grown by a centimetre.
She now travels to St. John’s every four months for appointments, and thankfully, on a more recent visit, the tumor hadn’t grown any further.
To show their appreciation to the Janeway, Maria, her mother and their friend Angela Price have been raising money for the annual telethon. Under the banner — the Maria Thoms Project — they have been holding bake sales and bottle drives, as well as selling chocolate bars and bracelets.
The latest initiative is to prepare a bin of toys for the hospital’s family resource centre.
“It’s a great place for the kids to play, but there’s not a lot of toys as everything is donated,” she said.
Thoms added their project is looking for items for children between ages two to six. The toys must be new and non-fabric for sanitary purposes.
Colouring and craft supplies are also being accepted.
Furthermore, the group is looking to prepare bags for children at the hospital. The bags would include pajamas, colouring books and crayons.
“After everything the Janeway had done for us, we just wanted to give something back,” said Thoms. “Because you never know, go forbid, when you’ll need it yourself.
If you would like to support the Maria Thoms Project in its endeavors to help the Janeway, please visit Facebook pages The Maria Thoms Project or Prayers for Maria Thoms, or by calling 422-2289.