She may be gone, but 'Sassy' Massey's dream lives on

RIDLEY TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- Two weeks ago little Jillian Massey, who inspired us with her courageous battle with cancer, passed away.

But the dream of the five-year-old girl, affectionately known as 'Sassy Massey,' lives on.

Thousands of children spending their holidays in the hospital are receiving Christmas presents. It was the 5-year-old's final wish.

"She loves caring. She loved giving to others," said her brother, Jack.

The gifts were handed out in the 2nd annual Sassy Massey Toy Drive. It began last year with a request for 50 gifts that quickly ballooned to 3,000.

This year, it far surpassed that.

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"I said, 'Jill, do you know why you've been at CHOP so long?' And she said, 'to play, mommy,'" said her mother, Janelle.

"This is what Christmas is all about. It's not about our personal wants, it's about helping people," said her father, James.

More than 25,000 presents filled up several trucks in Ridley Township. People came from near and far with gifts in hand.

"With everything that she was going through she still had a smile on her face," said Christina Graf of Ridley Park.

Her love for police officers brought them out by the dozens. They rode in on horses, motorcycles, even helicopters and helped escort the trucks to little Jilian's friends at CHOP.

"Unfortunately sometimes you only get to see the bad side. But this is something where we can give joy and give back to the community," said Lt. Jamie Kemm of Pennsylvania State Police.

And though Jillian couldn't be there in person, her spirit was certainly felt.

Jillian's legacy goes beyond these toys. In fact, cards were passed out to encourage random acts of kindness, and they encouraged everyone to pass the cards along so that her memory can live on.

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