Little Boy With Brain Tumor Dedicates His Birthday To Helping Shelter Pets
The shelter even made him an honorary volunteer.
This is Bryce Hill — a little boy with a very big heart.
Last year, the young Illinois native was diagnosed with juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, a rare brain tumor that develops in early childhood. It's been an uphill battle for Bryce since then, with frequent trips to the hospital for tests and chemotherapy treatments.
Despite his own challenges, however, he never stops thinking about others in need — even on his birthday.
Bryce turned 6 years old in January, and had a party with family and friends. But rather than ask for presents, he instead asked guests to donate items to his local animal shelter.
And that's exactly what they did.
Last month, Bryce paid a visit to the Illinois Valley Animal Rescue (IVAR) — delivering the toys and supplies he'd dedicated his birthday to collect on behalf of needy pets.
"I'm very proud," Gina Panther, Bryce's mom, told The Dodo. "He is the sweetest boy."
But Bryce's kindness doesn't end there. That visit to the shelter sparked a desire in him to be even more involved.
"IVAR made him an honorary volunteer and he played with all the cats as his job," Panther said. "He is going to try and volunteer once a week, or as he can when he feels good. He loves playing with the cats and can't wait to do it again."
Bryce is responding well to treatment to keep the tumor in check, so with any luck, he'll have plenty of opportunities to keep on volunteering at the shelter.
In the meantime, he's got a puppy at home to lift his spirits along the way.
Follow the page Bryce's Battle, No One Fights Alone on Facebook for the latest on his progress, or to drop in with a message of support.