Montreal family donates hundreds of toys to kids in memory of their son

"I'm very happy and thankful," says Angelica Collins on the 472 gifts that were collected for her family's annual toy drive for the Montreal Children's Hospital. She is doing this in memory of her late son Kylo. Pamela Pagano reports.

Bags filled with hundreds of gifts made their way from Angelica Collins home in RDP to the Montreal Children’s Hospital on Friday morning.

This heartfelt initiative is a toy drive for the little ones at the hospital, a way for Collins’ family to honour her late son, Kylo Calderon.

“We got 472 toys for the kids,” said Collins. “This is our way of giving back to the kids that are going to be spending the holidays at the hospital.”

Angelica Collins and her children, Noah and Vega Calderon, loading their truck for the toy drive on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

Alongside her husband and children, Collins began loading her truck early Friday morning — all with bright smiles on their faces. Thankful for their family, friends and community who came together to make this second annual toy drive possible.

“Really amazed and surprised,” said Noah Calderon, Kylo’s older brother. “There’s all these gifts.”

(Submitted by: Angelica Collins)

In June 2021, Kylo was diagnosed with a rare juvenile blood cancer known as JMML — he then underwent chemo and treatments.

“It was a complete shock,” said Collins. “Although I kinda felt like something was wrong.”

“But I never imagined it would be that serious.”

Kylo surrounded by hospital staff during the 2021 holidays. (Submitted by: Angelica Collins)

“In the fall of 2021, it was confirmed that he was going to be getting a stem cell transplant,” explained Collins. “So we knew that in the following weeks he was going to be hospitalized again.”

After spending nearly 5 months in hospital, he got the transplant but was met with complications.

“He was a true warrior,” she added. “We were able to come back home on March 18, 2022.”

Sadly, Kylo passed away in August of 2022.

(Submitted by: Angelica Collins)

Their toy drive, a way to honour him – as he spent his first birthday on Dec. 10, 2020 at the Children’s Hospital.

“Everyone who knew Kylo remembers him of his beautiful smile,” said Sabrina Drudi, professional coordinator, Child Life Department, Montreal Children’s Hospital. “His smile lit up the room.”

The toys, collected for every age group – including gift cards for teens.

“When we come into the room and we present them with these gifts, they are smiling ear to ear,” added Drudi. “Parents they’re holding back tears to know that the community is thinking of them.”

“I’m very happy and thankful to give back to the hospital and the kids,” said Collins. “In memory of Kylo.”

Collins and her family at the Montreal Children’s Hospital on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

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