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Man uses stock earnings to buy gifts for children’s hospital

Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 6:49 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Chesterfield man, whose stocks skyrocketed in last week’s GameStop/Wall Street fiasco, decided to give back; instead of pocketing most of his newfound earnings, he bought gifts for young hospital patients at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond.

“If a kid that’s stuck at the Children’s Hospital wants unicorn curtains, I’m going to get them unicorn curtains - as opposed to a slush fund,” said John Theobald.

But it’s more than just unicorn curtains that Theobald ended up buying for the kids at the hospital, he picked up thousands of dollars worth of gifts from the hospital’s wish lists, giving some ill kids exactly what they wanted.

“When you look at the list, you can tell that they’re curated by the kids,” he said.

All the spending money came upon Theobald as a result of the wild week on Wall Street when stocks surged in companies like GameStop and AMC Theaters, which he had a stake in.

“I felt like this money was kind of just given to me out of dumb luck, so why not do something with it?” he said.

Sarah Deis, the Community Relations Manager with the Children’s Hospital Foundation said that so far, Theobald had purchased sensory items, toys, games and lots of books.

But Theobald has a deeper connection to the hospital; it’s a place he’s visited many times for the last four years while one of his sons gets treatment.

“Landon has NF, which is short for neurofibromatosis. So, we’re always there doing brain scans and looking through his optic nerves, just looking...you got to catch it early, and if it’s something you can remove, remove it.”

“NF” is a rare genetic disorder that causes Landon to grow tumors inside his body. The four-year-old has been getting treatment since birth, so for John, the hospital is nearly a second home.

“He knows firsthand the impact these items will have on our patients, and so it’s just really neat to see his generosity come full circle and him donate back to the place where his child is being treated,” said Deis.

Theobald is hoping others are inspired to give back like he was. The hospital has wish lists with big-name retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon.

The lists can be found, here.

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