Christmas Cards From Karsin

SCRANTON -- About 100 patients at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton received a special holiday greeting Friday from someone who knows just how it feels to be in the hospital during the holidays.

The most popular person making rounds at the hospital in Scranton was a Cub Scout carrying Christmas cards.

7-year-old Karsin Wilkins of Dalton left quite the impression. He handed out the handmade cards with one simple goal.

"To make them feel better," Karsin said.

Karsin knows what it's like to be in the hospital on Christmas. Two Christmases ago, when he was just in preschool, he spent the holiday at GCMC. A consequence of his epilepsy.

Now in first grade, he told his mom he wanted to come back to GCMC with Christmas cards for the patients who aren't as lucky as him this year.

"We made a lot, and we colored, we got some glitter and we made some trees," Karsin said.

He made 300 cards. Some were sent to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the state. About 100 of them were to be distributed at GCMC to patients in every department.

Carol Oleski of Scranton, who was in for chemotherapy Friday, was one lucky recipient.

"You get back here and you`re sitting here and you know, you get a little down at times. And then when kids come in with stuff like this, it really makes your day, it really does," Oleski said.

With two therapy dogs in tow, Karsin would make lots of new friends each with their own challenge this Christmas.

Like JuJu Vergnetti of Scranton. She is 100, and about to have heart surgery.

"If I take the risk, maybe I`ll last another hundred years!" she said.

In JuJu, Karsin met his match in the joke department.

Her card read, "Where do snowmen keep their money? In a snow bank."

She read it aloud with a laugh.

A smile can go a long way in a hospital, especially if it comes from a face as cute as Karsin's.

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