Young secret Santa stocks the shelves at Rady Children's Hospital

Posted at 5:26 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 21:39:41-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Dozens of hospitalized children have a secret Santa who understands what they are enduring. Nine-year-old Makenna Gochenour delivered 132 new Christmas gifts Friday for kids undergoing treatments at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.


“I’m really excited to give this to the kids,” said Makenna.


“I’m proud of her. She’s an incredible kid,” said her mother Marlana.


Makenna got the idea last week when she remembered meeting Santa when she was a patient at Rady Children’s one year ago.


“I found a lump right here on my stomach and then we went to Rady’s and we found out that it was cancer,” she remembered. “I had to do two surgeries so the second surgery was when I got to meet Santa Claus around December.”


“It was very hard. To get the phone call that your child has cancer is not an easy thing to go through,” said Marlana.


Makenna delivered to gifts to the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation, which will distribute them later this month.  Shortly after delivering the gifts, Makenna got a gift of her own.  A check-up revealed she was cancer-free for an entire year.


“We’re the lucky ones: Two surgeries and it’s gone,” exclaimed mom.


Makenna said her friends and family at Fuerta Elementary and her dad’s Penske Truck leasing offices donated most of the gifts.