2012-12-14 / Health & Wellness

A boy’s toys

Moorpark youngster collects toys for children sick in hospitals
By Stephanie Bertholdo


IT TAKES TWO—Casey Abrams, 9, and Ken Williams carry toys donated by the Lost Cruizer’zz Car Club for Casey’s third annual Holiday Toy Drive on Dec. 9. All the toys donated will benefit the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. 
MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers IT TAKES TWO—Casey Abrams, 9, and Ken Williams carry toys donated by the Lost Cruizer’zz Car Club for Casey’s third annual Holiday Toy Drive on Dec. 9. All the toys donated will benefit the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers Casey Abrams is a 9-year-old hero to hundreds of children at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA.

The Moorpark fourth-grader is once again collecting toys for children at the hospital with the hope of bringing a little cheer to them during the holidays.

He hopes his toy drive, now in its third year, will be bigger and better than ever. Last year he was able to deliver 400 toys and raise $400 in donations.

Casey knows what it’s like to be stuck in a hospital with not much to do. The Peach Hill Academy student also knows firsthand what it’s like to be in the hospital wired to machines during Christmas.

Diagnosed with a life-threatening disorder called chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, a rare degenerative disorder, Casey has spent a lot of time at the hospital since he was born.

The disease causes Casey’s intestines to function as if they are blocked. His large intestine and part of his small intestine were removed years ago because of the condition. Nutrition must be delivered to Casey through nightly intravenous feedings. The procedure makes him susceptible to infections, which results in frequent trips to the hospital.

Rachel Vollmar, Casey’s mother, is proud that her son is thinking of others.

“When Casey was 5 he spent Christmas in the hospital, and then, sure enough, the next year when he turned 6 he started the toy drive,” she said. “I never imagined it would be so big. He really loves to do it. Every year he’s more excited about it than the year before.”

The oldest of four children, Casey is rushed to the hospital six or more times per year.

“It’s always an emergency situation,” Vollmar said. “When it happens, Casey is usually in (the hospital) for a week at a time.”

Casey remembers Christmas in the hospital with fondness.

“WhenIwas5Ihadtostayin the hospital,” he said. “It inspired me. Some kids, I noticed when I went around the hospital, didn’t have many toys. I thought maybe I should help these kids. I don’t want them to feel bad at Christmas. I want to bring toys to them so they’re not so bored and they can have a fun Christmas celebration.”

The Lost Cruizer’zz Car Club is hosting the toy drive. In addition to donating toys for the cause, the club will take them to Mattel Children’s Hospital, said Karen Williams, president of the car club.

Casey and his family will visit the hospital to present the gifts.

Donations wanted

Casey is accepting new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages through Dec. 16. He is also accepting cash donations through PayPal.

Toys can be dropped off at the following locations: Casey Abrams’ home, 13335 Laurelhurst Road, Moorpark; Harley’s Simi Bowl, 4809 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley; and Butera’s Billiards, 476 W. Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark.

Also, the home of Casey’s grandparents, the Hawks, at 29275 Quail Run Drive, Agoura Hills; and Conejo Community Park, 1175 Hendrix Ave., Thousand Oaks.

For more information, visit Casey’s Crew on Facebook.

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