Young cancer survivor's Christmas wish: Give back to other cancer patients

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At just 7 years old, Ethan Perez has already fought a lifetime worth of battles and won them all.

This week, Ethan received the most wonderful wish a child can ask for: Doctors told him he was cancer-free after fighting leukemia since he was 4.

"I am better, and when we went to the hospital, they said, 'We are all done,'" recalled Ethan. "I still have to go to the hospital, though, and I'm happy."

The good news comes as a relief for his family, who was prepared to spend another Christmas in the hospital, which is known as a reality for many families with sick children.

Since Ethan has spent past holidays in the hospital, his mother, Evelyn Perez, said her son wanted to do something special for the patients at Texas Children's Hospital: he wanted to donate Christmas gifts.

The boy was surprised with a giant box filled with new toys thanks to donations from staff at NRL Mortgage and CitiQuest Properties.

Employees donated new and unwrapped gifts that will be given to patients and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance.

"The toy drive is more meaningful now that we are celebrating Ethan's victory," Evelyn said. "But there's hundreds of families at Texas Children's who will be fighting childhood cancer throughout the holidays."

A family of eight was also surprised with Christmas gifts from the toy drive Monday afternoon. The second youngest child, a 3-year-old, is currently battling leukemia.

"We are very thankful. The kids are happy," said a family member.

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