Three-year-old Willow was diagnosed with leukemia just before Hurricane Irma hit. But this story proves that even under the worst circumstances, you can find joy.
Being in Florida mom Jennifer Stine's shoes on Sunday must have felt beyond overwhelming. Not only had her three-year-old daughter Willow just been diagnosed with leukemia a few days ago, but they were currently holed up at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg with Hurricane Irma raging outside, and it was Willow's birthday.
Worse yet, Stine didn't have any presents, decorations or birthday treats for her little girl on her special day. And one can only imagine that given her scary diagnosis, Stine wanted to make a big deal out of Willow turning 3.
"I was like, I don't know how much more I can take," 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."
Luckily the medical staff at All Children's sensed how important it was for Willow to still get a birthday party, even under the seemingly impossible circumstances. They were able to round up some gifts and a birthday cake, which they presented to a princess nightgown-clad Willow, and caught the whole celebration on video.
In the heart-warming footage, you can see Willow stick her finger in her cake as her mom and medical staff sing "Happy Birthday." And even though she was hooked up to an IV, the little girl eagerly opened her birthday gifts, adorably exclaiming she'd always wanted the toys wrapped just for her.
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Stine said. "She got to be a toddler again." And that's the best gift any mom could have given their child. Here's wishing Willow, who will soon start chemotherapy to treat her leukemia, a speedy recovery and many more moments of feeling like the most special little girl in the world.