9-year-old raises thousands of dollars by selling reindeer food for schoolmate battling cancer

9-year-old raises thousands of dollars by selling reindeer food for schoolmate battling cancer
Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 11:11 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We have an update on a beautiful little girl named Braylyn Peterson and how the community stepped up to help in a major way.

Braylyn’s schoolmate and neighbor nine-year-old SJ O’Brien, spent his Christmas break raising money to help Braylyn’s family because Braylyn was diagnosed with Leukemia in May 2021.

SJ and his family, stayed up late working for days to create hundreds of bags of reindeer food which they had to sell by Christmas Eve.

The O’Brien’s say since WBRC aired a story about their efforts to help Braylyn’s family, they sold thousands of dollars worth of reindeer food.

We were there when SJ handed over the donation to Braylyn’s family Sunday.

“Through sales and donations, we raised $3,765 dollars for Braylyn,” SJ said.

It’s money that can go a long way for the Peterson family who said they took a financial hit when Braylyn’s mom, Ashley, left her job to care for Braylyn full-time.

“There are not many times I’m going to tell a lot of people that I’m lost for words, but it’s just been amazing,” Tim Peterson, Braylyn’s father said.

Peterson said the money would help tremendously as the family faced new insurance costs at the top of the year.

When we first learned about Braylyn, she was admitted to Children’s of Alabama but fortunately, she was able to celebrate Christmas at home.

“She is doing okay. I would not go as far as saying good because she gets tired very easily. We’re still at home giving her the liquid nutrition. She’s not eating very much, drinking even less,” Tim Peterson said.

Peterson said Braylyn was beginning to tolerate liquids better as well.

On top of donations, Peterson said Braylyn was also getting many unexpected surprises the week of Christmas.

“The support. The love. Probably 250 Christmas cards have shown up in our mailbox to Braylyn. When you say you’re lost for words,” Peterson said.

SJ said his plan was to think of another item to create and sell to help Braylyn’s family.

In the meantime, you can still help by donating to the family’s GoFundMe. That fund also grew by thousands of dollars in about a week.


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