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Jenna's Wish: Family carrying on girl's legacy at Stollery Children's Hospital
EDMONTON -- The family of a young girl who recently died from a rare form of cancer is continuing her efforts to spread kindness at the Stollery Children's Hospital.
Seven-year-old Jenna Marko passed away last month from adrenal cortical carcinoma, an illness that attacks the adrenal glands.
Through four rounds of chemotherapy and one round of radiation, Jenna was surrounded by friends and family—and gifts during the holiday season.
Others at the hospital weren't so lucky, she noticed.
"A lot of the families couldn't afford a coffee or something to eat. So this really touched our hearts, and we couldn't stand by and do nothing. And Jenna knew this as well," recalled her dad, Darren Clements.
"She was a very giving, loving kid. And this is what she wanted to do, is make people happy, make them feel even a little bit better with what they're going through."
Last year, Jenna told her family she had too many toys and that she instead wanted to share them with others in the ward.
"It made her really happy (to give) back," Clements said.
"She wanted to continue this—even though there was not hope for her, there may be hope for other kids—and she didn't want to see any kid without a toy during Christmas time."
Per Jenna's request, her family has partnered with several community organizations, including the St. Albert Ringette Association, to gather donations for families at the Stollery.
They've called it Jenna's Wish.
"We think that's one of the purposes why she was here: to leave a little something in her short time here. And I think this is why we're going to continue on with this," Clements said.
The legacy project isn't only asking for toy donations for young children, but also gifts for teenage patients, or food and meal delivery gift cards for family members who are staying with them.
"It helps us cope every day, talking about it and sharing the good times about her and how she was and how (inspired) she actually is making everybody."
With a report from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk