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All Lakewood Girl Wanted for Her Birthday Was to Help Others

Riley Cierebiej turned this summer, and instead of gifts, she asked for pajamas for sick children at the hospital.

Most girls these days hope to get some clothes for their 11th birthday. Some would like earrings, while others just want gift cards.

None of that was for Riley Cierebiej.

All she wanted for her birthday was to help others.

Riley, a sixth-grade student at , asked her friends and family for pajamas to give to sick children at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, in lieu of gifts.

More than a dozen gave Riley the pajamas she asked for on her personalized birthday invitations, and on Tuesday she hand-delivered them, going from room to room passing out the presents.

“I don’t really want anything else,” Riley said. “I have clothes, I have all my basic needs and I don’t really need anything else.” 

Her mother, Mary Cierebiej, said that Riley came up with the idea on her own.

“It was something very different than a typical 11-year-old’s birthday,” said Mary Cierebiej. “She’s a great kid — an all-around great kid.”

“Aside from the generosity of Riley Cierebiej’s gift, personal pajamas for patients are a comfort to the children, providing a semblance of normalcy and getting them out of a hospital gown,” said Vic Gideon, a spokesman for University Hospitals.

This wasn’t Riley’s first run at helping others. Earlier this year, she donated 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hair for people with cancer. 

Not surprisingly, Riley wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up. 

“She’s seems to have her whole life planned out,” said her mom.

Right now, Riley’s been focused on supporting kids in need.

“I just wanted to help little kids because when they go to the hospital they don’t know how long they’re going to be there and they want to be comfortable,” Riley said. “Pajamas are more comfortable than their hospital gowns.”

Susan Kaminski August 08, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Nice to hear news like this.
Judy Towner August 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Love this little girl! Her parents raised a wonderful, thoughtful daughter!

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