Derby kid battling disease gives back to hospitalized children


DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Derby kid, who is battling a chronic connective tissue disease, is giving back to other sick children one pair of a socks at a time.

“We write, ‘feel better soon’ and we put a stamp on there,” said Wyatt Wright.

The words are simple, but to kids in area hospitals they mean a lot.

Wyatt Wright, 10, has Scleroderma, an autoimmune disease resulting in hardening of the skin.

“When he gets the flu’s and the colds, his body just doesn’t fight back like the rest of ours,” said Wyatt’s mom Candace Wright.

As a result, Wyatt, spends a lot of time in the hospital. He’s been hospitalized about seven times in the last two years. Like all of the other patients, he has to wear a hospital gown and the brown or blue gripper socks the pediatric unit provides.

The gripper socks are for safety reasons, so the patients don’t slip and fall while they walk the hallways. However, they aren’t very stylish, according to the Wright’s.

“They’re not very comfortable and they’re not very cool,” Wyatt said.

“I call them grandma socks,” Candace said.

That’s why the Wright family has decided to start collecting their own gripper socks in hopes of delivering them to patients at Wichita’s two hospitals in late February.

“We thought, you know, why not change it up and let’s make it fun so when you are walking the hall in your night-gown, you have a pair of gripper socks that are creative,” Candace said.

“It might brighten other people’s days instead of just having those plain, old socks,” Wyatt said.

The family set a goal to collect 500 pairs of socks. As of Friday, they had collected more than 450 pairs of socks.

“I think that our goal is actually going to double,” Candace said. “I don’t even know some of the people who are sending them. We are getting them from North Carolina, from Texas, from just all over.”

Candace said she is humbled by the donations and the kindness of others.

“There are a lot of times I get packages in the mail and I have to sit down and collect myself because it’s like wow, there are really good people in this world and they really do want to make a difference in a child’s life,” she said.Click here to donate to Wyatt the Warrior. 

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