Nurses Refused To Let Hurricane Irma Ruin This 3-Year-Old's Birthday Party

"It was an honor to celebrate Willow and provide some joy to this family.”

You don't have to look far to find everyday superheroes. You can find plenty at children's hospitals and recognize them by their scrubs. A little girl in St. Petersburg, Florida found this out firsthand on Sunday. 

On September 8, Willow Stine was diagnosed with leukemia. The news came just two days away from her third birthday and the day Hurricane Irma was scheduled to hit Florida. As Willow prepared for chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, her mom realized she had nothing to celebrate her birthday with. She hadn't bought presents, decorations, or a birthday cake to the hospital. 

Most importantly, the rest of Willow's family wouldn't be able to make it. The hurricane made it unsafe for them to travel. 

"I was like, I don't know how much more I can take," Willow's mother, Jennifer Stine, told CNN. "My baby's turning 3 and has cancer and on top of that, my 4-year old daughter and husband are an hour and a half away in a hurricane. I'm just trying to process all this."

So, Willow's nurses and specialists came up with a plan to make sure the hurricane didn't keep her from having a very happy birthday. They organized a party for her by rounding up supplies they had on hand at the hospital. 

"The gifts are donated to the child life department throughout the year, so the team picked out gifts for her. They found out she loved 'Frozen,' so those were the types of gifts they picked out," the public relations manager for the hospital, Danielle Caci, told HuffPost. "The cakes are made by local grocery stores and saved in the freezer in our cafeteria for patient birthdays when needed," she added. 

The hospital staff blew up some balloons, wrapped the gifts, and presented Willow a nice, big birthday cake. 

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital shared a video (above) of Willow's birthday party on their YouTube channel. All dressed up in a sweet Disney outfit, Willow can be seen immediately sticking her finger in her birthday cake's icing as soon as it was put in front of her. 

The staff sang to her and helped her unwrap her gifts — which she absolutely loved. "I always wanted this!" Willow said, after opening them. 

Stine was brought to tears seeing her daughter so happy. She was beautifully moved by the gesture. "The nurses were amazing. They're so wonderful," Stine told CNN. "She got to be a toddler again."

The nurses were more than happy to be able to bring a little bit of happiness to this family during such a difficult time. 

"When everyone walked in and Willow began opening gifts, the look on her mom's face was priceless. They have had some of the worst moments of their life in that past 72 hours, so the fact they were able to take a break from focusing on her diagnosis brought so much emotion to her family," Caci told HuffPost. "It was an honor to celebrate Willow and provide some joy to this family."


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