Little gifts for hospitalized kids help keep nephew's memory alive

Jerry Gretzinger & WNYT Staff
Updated: March 05, 2020 02:54 PM
Created: February 10, 2020 06:37 PM

When Will Rogan was born with a congenital heart defect – his aunt, Courtney Sim of Colonie, wanted to help other children like him - and other families like hers.

It's something that became even more important when her nephew lost his fight.


Will had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The left side of his heart didn't function, so he was essentially born with half a heart.

Sim says Will had his first open heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospital at just three days old. Sadly, he passed away in 2018 at the age of 2.

She remembers the heartbreak of seeing so many young children fighting similar battles.

She saw the big smiles little gifts could bring - and came up with Bears, Books and Blankets to Boston - and asked friends and total strangers for donations to her special delivery.

Donations continue to grow, and students at the South Colonie Central School District's iCARE program have even become a big part of the growing effort.

Hear from one of the students who is helping brighten the lives of the kids in Boston, by watching the video of Jerry Gretzinger's story.

To support "Bears, Books and Blankets to Boston" you can order from the group's Amazon wish list.  Items are delivered directly to the group's organizer.

Donations can also be dropped off at:

1. Village of Colonie 2 Thunder Road Albany, NY 12205

2. Freestyle Fitness 1800 Western Ave Albany, NY 12203

3. Colonie Central High School or any of the South Colonie Elementary Schools.

Courtney Sim, Organizer of Bears, Books and Blankets to Boston, can be reached at

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