Kids in hospital still have a happy Easter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kids in hospital still have a happy Easter

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Easter Sunday was a lot happier than Abby Heims expected it to be. Friday, she learned she has type 1 diabetes and spent the weekend at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids learning about living with the disease.

"I was scared at first but then it was ok once we got started," said Abby.

"We would have been eating all kinds of sugary candies and stuff all through Easter and probably would have ended up in the emergency room," said Benjamin Heims, Abby's father.

"Crime Dog McGruff gave me his card and crayons and coloring books and the Easter Bunny gave me a hug," said Abby. "It was fun."

The Linn County Sheriff's Office, along with other sheriff's offices across the country, partner with The Easter Bunny Foundation each year to help kids have a happy holiday.

"You don't see many Easter Bunnies around except for perhaps the mall," said Gardner. "The Easter Bunny Foundation felt that it was important to get Easter Bunnies into the hospitals."

The group visited five kids and gave them stuffed bunnies and coloring books to play with. It's been a tradition for the sheriff's department for several years.

"It's awesome," said Gardner. "I was somewhat apprehensive of the program until we actually did it for the first time and then it hooked me forever. So we will continue to do this. It brings a lot of joy to the kids. They truly look forward to seeing us."

Joy to kids like Abby, who likes the toys because she can't have a lot of sweets now that she knows she's a diabetic.

"We picked up some sugar free peeps," said Benjamin. "Finding out they've got just as many carbs as the regular peeps almost so we're just keeping an eye on things more."

Abby should be released from the hospital Monday which she's happy to hear because that's her tenth birthday.

92 sheriff's offices and four police departments in the country partner with The Easter Bunny Foundation. Linn, Cass, and Clay counties are the only ones in Iowa who are on the "bunny trail."

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