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Saanich girl with life-threatening condition donates thousands of dollars worth of toys to hospital

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SAANICH, B.C. -

If you ask Jamie-Lynn Frommelt what she wants to be when she grows up, the seven-year-old will answer with a smile.

“I want to be a cat-walker,” she’ll say. “A person that goes around walking cats.”

Jamie-Lynn is hoping to care for 100 cats at a time.

“Some people need a break from cats,” Jamie-Lynn explains. “Because they can scratch up a lot of things.”

Jamie-Lynn is appreciating this break from being poked with a lot of IV needles.

“It feels not good,” she says with a grimace.

Over the past two years, Jamie-Lynn has been treated in hospital 15 times for a potentially a life-threatening liver disease.

“She should not have to go through everything she’s gone through,” Amanda Frommelt says, fighting back tears.

Amanda says her daughter has to endure an invasive procedure to stop internal bleeding every six to eight weeks, with no end in sight.

“But she goes through it all with a smile,” Amanda says.

And she’s grateful that the Victoria General Hospital’s child fife specialist, Diane Edwards, strives to make the experience more manageable by delivering something to distract from the discomfort.

“All I had to provide to [Jamie-Lynn] at that time were colouring crayons,” Diane says. “Sometimes our donations are bare and we have very little to provide.”

When Diane left Jamie-Lynn’s hospital room that day, the girl turned to her mom and made a declaration: “Mom! We got to buy them more toys!” Amanda recalls her daughter saying.

After Jamie-Lynn was released from the hospital, she started fundraising. After receiving almost $2,600 worth of donations from friends, family and local businesses, the girl bought toys for children of all ages, and delivered them to the hospital.

“They came with boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff,” Diane smiles. “It was phenomenal.”

Jamie-Lynn helped Diane fill the hospital’s bare toy cupboard with toys that could be played with one hand, because the girl knew how it felt to have the other hand attached to an IV needle.

“She didn’t just think it, she did it,” Diane praises Jamie-Lynn. “I think that’s pretty remarkable for a seven-year-old who had years of medical interventions.”

It felt so good being so kind, Jamie-Lynn is planning another fundraiser so the hospital's toy cupboard won’t be bare for Christmas.

“She just used her big beautiful heart to make this happen,” Amanda says. “And I couldn’t be more proud to be her mom.”

And Jamie-Lynn couldn’t be more hopeful that her spreading kindness will be contagious.

“If you spread [kindness] to some people, they will spread it to more people,” Jamie-Lynn smiles. “And then it will be a world of kind.”

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