March 21, 2010
AUGUSTA---A local woman's mission to make a difference one life at a time headed to the MCGHealth Children's Medical Center. This time, Candye Smith surprised two-year-old Benjamin, a cancer patient, with free tickets to the circus.
"I'm so excited," Benjamin's mom Janell Knotts told News 12. "This is fantastic."
"Hospital visits, just so many things, and now we're going to go to the circus," she went on. "It is so awesome."
Benjamin has a rare cancer that's eating away at his bones.
"When I heard about Benjamin, I said, 'That's the one,' " Candye recalled. " 'The circus is coming. We'll send him to the circus.' "
Benjamin has been a patient at the Children's Medical Center for the past six months. His gift of five tickets to the circus, a $100 value, is something MCG calls priceless.
"We can't wait to see what she's going to have next year for one of our patients," said media relations coordinator Denise Parrish.
This is all possible thanks to Candye's Give It 4ward organization.
"There needs to be more groups like that," Janell said.
"Anything that can take their minds off what is going on and enhance their quality of life, that is exciting for us," Denis said.
Benjamin's only focus now is putting those tickets away for safekeeping as he takes on cancer.
"You just never think it's going to be your child," Janell said. "It was relaly difficult to deal with."
A complete stranger stepped in to help.
"I'm hoping it will be a domino effect, where those who want to give will go out and help someone else," Candye said. "Each one, reach one."
"We've received so much through his journey," Janell said. "We are really looking forward to paying it forward."
"You are going to Give It 4ward?" we asked.
"Yes, sir, I am!" Janell said.
Benjamin is battling a disease called LCH. He has several more months of chemo treatments left. Janell said he is a trooper and is responding well to treatment.