RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- At only 11 months old Noah Roque was flown to Stanford University's children's hospital for open heart surgery. Now nearly a decade later his family is hoping to give a little back to the people who gave them so much.
"Nine years ago I had open heart surgery," said 9-year-old Noah Roque.
During the 2003 holiday season Noah was too young to realize what he was going through, but for his family - especially his mother Traycey - Thanksgiving and Christmas just weren't the same.
"You're not really worried about gifts or anythg that has to do with the holiday, you're just praying that your child is going to be okay," Traycey said.
The kindness they received at the hospital is inspiring them to give back.
"It helped me keep my mind off of what was my reality at that moment," Traycey said.
Now in many ways Noah is a typical 9-year-old boy, except he has a valve in his heart. This Christmas he's helping kids who are where he was at this moment nine years ago.
"We're trying to gather 60 stockings and 60 blankets to give to them," Noah said.
"We decided to give blankets because the littler kids can take those," Traycey said.
For the older kids they're giving things such as crayons, coloring books and chinese handcuffs.
These small gifts represent some some big life lessons.
"Don't take life for granted and be as compassionate as you can be," said Carol Corbett, Noah's grandmother.
"It's such an overwhelming humbling experience to see somebody worse off than you are," Traycey said. "There's always somebody that's worse off. I want him to understand that."
For Noah giving to the children's hospital is a pretty simple concept.
"I'm helping them back because they helped me," Noah said.
They're just trying to bring a little joy to the world inside Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
If you'd like to donate, they're still collecting things like small toys, knit hats and stockings. You can drop off donations at All Tire & Wheel, 2560 E. 4th Street, any time between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. - noon on Saturday.