Young Patient Helps Other Mercy Kids

November 13, 2015

Justin with his parents Deborah and Tim Patterson.

Justin and his dad donating tab tops.

ST. LOUIS - Justin Patterson, 11, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when he was 7. During his multiple trips to visit Mercy Kids GI Dr. Lynda Brady, Justin noticed the Ronald McDonald House on campus and asked his mom Deborah about it.

When she explained it, Justin knew he wanted to do something to help those families.

"I have always loved helping people," Justin said.

They decided to begin collecting tab tops three years ago. Since then, they've collected nearly five pounds.

"Justin used to correct people with 'Hey you didn't take your tab off,' if he noticed someone recycling without pulling the tabs," Deborah recalled. "Now it's just second nature to all of us."

Justin was unexpectedly hospitalized recently and the family decided what better time to donate the tab tops than now when they actually benefitted from the Ronald McDonald Family Room while they were at Mercy Children’s Hospital.

The family lives in Wentzville, Missouri, and Justin is in sixth grade at Frontier Middle School.

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