by Brooke Rogers | CBS11


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DALLAS (CBS11) – No 11-year-old boy or mom dreams of spending a birthday in the hospital, but for Arkansas native Will Collins, a bone marrow transplant made it necessary.

“This is the first time he ever celebrated his actual birthday without his twin brother,” said his mother Nikki Bradley.

Will is at Children’s Medical Center Dallas because he has Leukemia.

He was diagnosed just months after completing 2 1/2 years of treatment for Lymphoma.

While at the Ronald McDonald House, Will attended a party by The Birthday Party Project, a non-profit that throws birthday parties for children who might otherwise have none.

“I think that we were just up at the front desk talking, and they were asking when his birthday was. I said it’s May 19th and we’ll be in the hospital,” said Bradley.

“I’m like, well, we’re going to bring the party to you. So we did!” said Mary Gall, a volunteer with both The Birthday Party Project and The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. “We put on hats and we sang. “t was very special.”

The volunteers also came armed with gifts for Will, including shirts, the Incredible Hulk and a basketball autographed by the Dallas Mavericks.

“It’s amazing, because of course this is a hard time. we’re away from our family,” said Bradley.

A birthday reclaimed, thanks to the generosity of virtual strangers. And a way to give the birthday boy a reason to smile.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” said Will. “I didn’t know that they would come just for me.”

Bradley says Will is doing exceptionally well, according to his doctors.

He is expected to remain at the hospital for another 6 to 8 weeks.

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