by Lisa Tome
Teresa Gilbert is having a big gathering in honor of her daughter's 13th birthday.
The whole community is invited to help.
Allison Gilbert, who was born December 4, 2002 and died January 7, 2003, is being remembered with gifts of toys for hospitalized children and their siblings. Gilbert was born with DiGeorge syndrome which interrupted the workings of her heart. Her family is keeping her memory alive by helping those who are at University of Maryland Hospital during the holidays.
"We try to do something in her memory every year. Allison was just an infant and we had a seven and nine year old at the time. My husband, Dennis, and I were at the hospital (at Christmas) someone gave me a homemade gift while I was there and it meant so much," said Gilbert.
"We want to gather items for the hospital for the siblings, patients, and families. When we were there and people helped, we just felt the love. I can remember seven families being at the hospital when we were spending their last Christmas with their child," she said.
The toys in memory of Allison should be unwrapped, small scale and portable so that patients and siblings can play with them. Suggested donations include coloring books, crayons, handmade quilts or blankets, handheld games, new books for all ages, children's CDs, dolls/action figures, small Lego sets, and any small toys or arts and crafts.
"We know how it feels for someone to bring you some happiness. We want to do this in honor of her. It almost makes it feel like she's still with us," said Gilbert.
To donate to the collection, items may be taken to Dr. Sanchez' offices in Rising Sun or Perryville. Items are also being accepted at Simply the Best Nutrition, Route 40, North East, Rising Sun town hall, or call Teresa for pick up at 410-920-1854.