New year, new surprises for cancer-stricken family - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New year, new surprises for cancer-stricken family

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Leeanna and Christina Toro. (Family photo) Leeanna and Christina Toro. (Family photo)

With it being 2017, the Channel 3 Liberty Bank Surprise Squad continued to spread cheer across the state.

This week, the team headed to Hartford to kick off the new year with a special surprise for a mother and daughter affected by cancer.

"It's just, it's so hard for any family," said Christina Toro. "You know, like I hear 'I don't know how you do it.' But I say the same thing when I see all the kids."

Christina Toro has been spending a lot of time at Connecticut Children's Medical Center after her 17-year-old daughter, Leeanna, was diagnosed with stage 3 Non-Hodgekins lymphoma back in April.

"They thought the tumor that her daughter had was shrinking," said Kathy Bowers, Christina Toro's coworker. "And when they stopped the chemo, it wasn't shrinking. So now she has to go for more treatments."

Bowers, who asked the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad to do a little something in the new year for the family, which has been through so much in 2016.

"Christina is a great person," Bowers said. "She'll do anything for anybody and she always helps everybody out around her. That's why we're trying to do something to help her out."

After careful planning with Bowers and Christina Toro's coworkers, the squad pulled it off.

It was probably one of the few times she was not ready to respond to a call from a coworker.

She initially didn't want to be on camera. After learning that the squad was there for her, however, it was clear she was touched.

According to her coworkers, people would never know she was going through such tough times.

After speaking with Christina Toro, she gave the squad more insight into how courageous Leeanna is.

"She said, 'mom, God doesn't give somebody something that they can't handle' and because we're strong," Christina Toro said. "We're dealing with it, versus someone who wouldn't be able to deal with it."

The Liberty Bank Surprise Squad hoped its little New Year's gift would provide a bright spot for the mother of five, who recently ran out of her paid time off.

"Thank you guys so much," Christina Toro said. "Trust me, anything helps."

She couldn't wait to share the news with her daughter.

"The girls from work have mommy on the news? Really?" Leeanna said. 

"And they gave a wonderful gift card, so I figured you'd be excited," Christina Toro told her.

To see more Channel 3 Liberty Bank Surprise Squad stories or to submit a nomination, click here.

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