DAYTON — In every room of the Dayton Children’s Hospital that Abbey Goubeaux, of Minster, visited, she left a present and, in exchange, she got a smile.
Goubeaux owns the Small Town Boutique in Fort Loramie. After her father developed small cell aggressive lung cancer in June 2017, Goubeaux was inspired to use her business to help others who were also fighting cancer. Goubeaux decided to raffle gift baskets at her business and use the money raised to buy presents for kids being treated at the Dayton Children’s Hospital. She raised more than $500. The gift basket raffle ended, Dec. 3. Goubeaux bought a wide variety of toys for children of different ages. All was ready for the trip to Dayton, but then Goubeaux came down with a small bug and had to postpone the toy delivery, so that she didn’t risk passing it on to the children, many of whom have weakend immune systems.
Once Goubeaux was well again, she made the trip from Minster to the Dayton Children’s Hospital with her mom, Vicky Goubeaux, and dad, Dan Goubeaux, Monday, Jan. 30. After filling out some paperwork for the hospital, Goubeaux and her parents were led to rooms where children were being treated. The Goubeauxes followed with a wagon filled to overflowing with toys.
The first stop was in the playroom, where kids can go when they are able to move around. A little girl named Abigail Smith, of Fairborn, daughter of Andew and Becky Smith, was in the playroom, engrossed in a children’s kitchen set. She didn’t notice Goubeaux standing behind her with two presents to chose from. When they got Abigail’s attention, a giant smile spread over her little face. There was no doubt in Abigail’s mind which present she wanted. Abigail made it clear she wanted a Micky Mouse Lego set because Micky Mouse is one of her favorite characters. She quickly opened the box and found the Micky Mouse figure inside. After a kind thank you from Abigail, Goubeaux went to the next room.
Goubeaux was greeted by a smiling Karris Flory, 14, of Sidney, daughter of James Flory. Goubeaux surprised Karris with a Spirograph and a gift certificate for Walmart. Karris never stopped smiling while Goubeaux was in the room, and when words failed, only a hug with Goubeaux would do. Karris was very excited to recieve the Spirograph, opening it soon after Goubeaux left the room. Karris is at the children’s hospital battling embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, which according to the American Cancer Society, is a cancer of connective tissues made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles.
The next stop for Goubeaux was a little more personal one: Jackson Hogenkamp, 15, of Minster, son of Scott and Shelly Hogenkamp, who was in the hospital for treatment for osteosarcoma. According to the American Cancer Society, osteosarcoma is a form of bone cancer. Goubeaux’s sister, Danielle Coverman, used to babysit for Hogenkamp’s family. Goubeaux had taken a special gift just for Hogenkamp, knowing that he was going to be at the hospital. Goubeaux presented Hogenkamp with a Minster Wildcats hat, which he took with a smile and promptly tried on.
Goubeaux went on to deliver presents to about seven more children at the hospital, leaving the remaining presents with the hospital. Goubeaux said she “felt honored to personally deliver and see the lives that I touched. I want them to know there’s other people out there keeping them in their thoughts and prayers.” Goubeaux’s family motto for their father’s cancer battle is “No one fights alone,” and Goubeaux wanted to extend that motto to the kids at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Goubeaux says of her family, “We appreciate the support we have received from our community.”
Goubeaux purchased most of the toys from Topsy Turvy Toys in New Bremen to help support a local business.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4820.