Christopher Clampitt, who paid it forward (Source: KPHO-TV)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The memory and spirit of a 9-year-old girl who died of leukemia inspired a Valley mother to pay it forward.
Amanda Tallman endured two years of chemotherapy, only to have her leukemia come back again more aggressively a year later.
"I will say that our little girl lived more life in her 12 years than many people I know in their 60s," said Lorranie Tallman, Amanda's mother.
"She came close to death's door many times and she always came through," her mother said. "She was so brave and such a fighter."
Amanda hated having to pull her shirt up or have nurses tug it down in order to get to the many tubes and wires associated with her treatment.
One night, the answer came to her in a dream - a T-shirt with zippers, flaps and even an interior pocket that would allow her and other kids to maintain their dignity, even in their darkest days.
Amanda sketched out a prototype, including her favorite tie-dye pattern, before she died in 2012.
"Amanda said right before she passed, 'Mommy, promise me you are going to help every child, every one.' And I said, 'I promise,'" Lorraine Tallman said. "When your little girl says that at the end, there's no stopping you. You make a promise like that, you better keep it."
And keep it she did.
Lorraine Tallman measured and designed the ComfyCozys and has been providing them to other cancer patients free of charge since October.
Nicholas Floyd, 14, was one of the first to put it into use.
"It's easy for the nurses to get access to your port so they can see it and it helps so they aren't always yanking down on your shirt," Floyd said.
"The nurses, every single one of them, said, 'Oh my goodness, you have one of those cool shirts.' So the nurses love them because it's easier for them."
Since Christmas, Amanda's dream has outfitted more than 1,000 children in several states.
Amanda's story was so powerful and her idea so smart that Chris Clampitt, a man who never met her or her mother, wanted to help in any way he could.
"What I have for you from CBS 5 through the Pay It Forward Program is $500," Clampitt said as he handed Lorraine Tallman the check.
The check for $500 will buy ComfyCozy care packages for 20 more children.
The surprise came on what would have been Amanda's 14th birthday.
"Her dream is coming true," Lorraine Tallman said. "Happy birthday, Amanda. I mean, it's everything she wanted. I can't think of a better birthday present than a dream come true."
The ComfyCozys even have plastic zippers so the kids can still wear them in the MRI machines.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, August 22 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:04:57 GMT
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