COMMUNITY FIRST: Teenager donates gifts to Eau Claire hospital patients

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An Eau Claire teenager is once again bringing a little joy to area hospital patients.

Katharine Rhoten was only 9-years-old when she was rushed to the hospital before being diagnosed with type one diabetes. She says she remembers hospital staff giving her toys to ease her pain and take away her anxiety before getting her insulin shots. Since then, she hasn't forgotten the kindness of the medical staff or the impact of the gifts during the hospital stay. For the last six years, Rhoten has been paying it forward by donating toys, games, and other fun things to area health care facilities. She hoping they ease the pain of other patients just like they did for her.

"I never thought that it would grow this much and have this much support," Rhoten said. "I'm very grateful and thankful for all the support we do have."

Rhoten said she and her younger brother run a lemonade stand in the summers to help pay for the gifts. This year, she donated more than 2,000 gifts. This is her eighth donation in the past six years.

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