I came across this story a couple of days ago, on Facebook. Easton Murdock, 11 years old, has launched a campaign called Operation Jammies. His desire is to collect new pajamas and send them to kids who are patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
I’m familiar with this amazing boy’s story. Easton’s dad is a realtor at Keller Williams Realty in Joplin. In 2009 Easton was diagnosed with a brain stem and cervical spine tumor. His family was told it was inoperable. When the tumor continued to grow, after standard treatments of chemotherapy and radiation, doctors revised their treatment plans. Surgery was performed and about half of the tumor was removed.
Easton knows what it’s like to spend time in the hospital. And he likes to be comfortable. His mom always packs him extra pajamas and clothes. But he noticed that other children sometimes didn’t have these comforts from home or even many visitors. Three years ago, this thoughtful boy shopped with his mom for pajamas for a little girl in the hospital, who had nothing from home and no visitors either. They gave her the pjs and Operation Jammies was born.
In their first campaign Easton and his family donated 400 sets of pajamas to the St. Louis hospital. This time, they are inviting the community to join in. Various schools and organizations in the Joplin area are contributing, and individuals may as well. Donations of new pajamas in all sizes can be dropped off at LaFerla Ortho, 2805 E. 29th St. in Joplin, during regular business hours through next Friday, Oct. 30.
I am so impressed with Easton. In the midst of his own medical challenges, he’s thinking of others, and wanting to offer comfort. I joined Operation Jammies. Today Aubrey and I shopped for pajamas, one set for a girl and one for a boy.
I explained to Aubrey what we were doing. She listened intently, her little expressive face showing concern for kids in the hospital. Her blue eyes lit up as she agreed to our journey today. She selected Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pjs for a boy and a set of blue jammies with foxes on them for a girl. We drove by Dr. LaFerla’s office to drop them off. Aubrey placed the pjs in the bin after showing them to the kind receptionists behind the desk. Aubrey’s dad, my son Nate, and my daughter Adriel were patients of Dr. LaFerla’s and now my grandson Joey is. I appreciate their willingness to help Easton in his campaign. For every pair of pjs dropped off, LaFerla Ortho will match the donation with another set of jammies or a financial donation to purchase pjs.
Way to go, Easton. Your generosity and compassionate have united a whole community and will bring joy and comfort to hundreds of children who are experiencing health challenges. You are an incredible young man. I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute, and more importantly, that Aubrey not only got to take part, but saw that a boy who is still himself a child can help others in amazing ways. What a wonderful role model and person you are.
Photos of Easton from Joplin Globe