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October 15, 2013

Methuen boy hosts toy drive for sick kids

METHUEN — When 9-year-old Wesley Gangi found out his mother’s friend, Hallie, was donating a kidney he was inspired to do something to change someone’s life.

“He wrote to her on Facebook telling her she was a hero. She challenged him in someway do something that will help someone else,” Wesley’s mother Amy Gangi said.

After thinking about it for sometime, he came up with the idea of a toy drive for children at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical. Wesley’s Wishes Toy Drive will occur on Nov., 2 at the Loop in front of AMC Theater from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Kids get bored being in the hospital all the time,” Wesley said.

Wesley would know. From the time he was born, he has been in and out of the hospital with a slew of medical issues.

Wesley is one of triplets. His brothers have been healthy but he hasn’t had the same luck. He was born at only 28 weeks and was just two pounds when he was born. He has spent a year and half of his life in the hospital. He has had over 35 surgeries. He has a clotting disorder and a weak immune system. He is in kidney failure and at some point in his life will need a kidney transplant.

“He has had to fight for his life since day one,” his mother said.

Wesley admits it has been a tough spending so much time in the hospital.

“It’s extremely difficult,” he said. “I miss (my) brothers, Austin and Rylan, a lot when I am in there.”

Another challenging aspect of hospital life is how to occupy time.

“I get bored a lot,” he said. “They come in with used coloring books and I am like ‘Mom, what the heck is this?’”

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