Ten-year-old Braylin Soon, of Hillsboro, Oregon donated her birthday presents to the children’s hospital that helped save her life two years ago.

At 8 years old, Braylin underwent an emergency liver transplant due to autoimmune hepatitis, a condition in which her immune system rejects her liver. She received the transplant in California and spent six weeks in the hospital, including Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

During this time, Braylin was comforted through receiving toys donated to the hospital.

“When you get them in the hospital, you have that feeling, and you know somebody donated these toys to make me feel better,” she said.

For the past two years, Braylin has donated her birthday presents to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Last year, Braylin donated 70 toys to the children’s hospital.

This year, Braylin hosted a Star Wars-themed birthday party, asking her friends to bring books, toys, and stuffed animals. She collected over 250 gifts to donate to the children’s hospital.

“It makes me feel happy inside because these are kids who might be going through way worse than I was. I think making them smile is the most important thing right now,” said Braylin.

Braylin’s actions have inspired her family and her peers. “She’s pretty amazing. Something as small as a coloring book or a stuffed animal makes such a gigantic difference, and for her it made all the difference.” said Kevin Soon, Braylin’s father.

While in the hospital, Braylin was nicknamed “Braylin the Brave.”

“I was a little scared if something went wrong. But I knew the best thing I could do was get through the surgery and fight,” she said.

Now, Braylin wants to send a message of hope and perseverance to other children at Doernbecher.

“I would tell them to never give up and that no matter what they think, they are strong enough to get through what they are doing and they just need to keep remembering that,” Braylin said.

 

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.