Decking the halls with hope in Plano



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Posted on December 12, 2009 at 9:40 PM

PLANO — The spirit of the Christmas season is in full swing, as some turn their thoughts to people in need. In Plano, that means a group of volunteers setting up a tree for a three-year old girl who nearly died from cancer.

It looks like Christmas always does at Hayden Haynes' home until you realize the volunteers are here to brighten her spirits.

Not only did she narrowly survive a bout with cancer, but it's also her birthday.

"Didn't think we'd see it," said Peri Haynes, Hayden's mom. "Very special Christmas; very special Thanksgiving. That's all we wanted, just this. No presents, just this."

Haynes is referring to the visit from a group of volunteers from Lucas Christian Academy, part of an organization called Decking the Halls with Hope.

"It shows what true love is all about," said Rachel Gilmer.

"I just feel so blessed to be around these people and the love that you can see they have," added Leslie Overstreet. "It just really shows what Christmas is all about."

Hayden, who is still learning to walk, was quiet but excited — and not yet as wise as her grandmother, Florence Butler, to know how special the world can be, sometimes.

"It's very difficult," Butler said. "We're just so excited that she's doing so well. It's just been very scary, and the love and support of people has been so uplifting and so amazing that we don't know how to accept it all."