TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)-- The Children's Miracle Network is getting ready for an event to raise money for North Florida and South Georgia families. In 2013 alone, the organization raised more than $800,000 to help patients from our area get treatment at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
Roy Gossett is one of those patients. He's a teenager from Cairo, but you won't find him spending too much time with friends from Cairo High School. Roy has cystic fibrosis, and he spends about two weeks at a time every couple of months at Shands Hospital in Gainesville for treatments.
"I know just about everybody here, because I've been here for eleven years," said Roy. "I'm sixteen now."
Roy says he spends his time playing video games, singing and doing homework. For Halloween, he brought his ninja costume with him, even though he didn't get to trick or treat, because for right now, he can't leave his hospital room. But Roy says he won't let that get him down.
"I don't want to be put in, because it's not a place for fun, but while I'm in here I do have fun," said Roy.
We all know high school can be a rough time in life, but Roy says for him, it's even tougher, all because his classmates don't seem to understand his condition.
"They either look at my teeth and think because-- I know I can brush them, but my medicine makes them like they are, and they look at how crooked they are and they hear me coughing, and they automatically think I'm sick," said Roy.
That's why Roy says he values his time at the hospital, because it's where he feels like people care about him the most.
"Don't stare at me like I'm a freak. Don't just avoid me because you think I'm sick. I would love to make friends with people," said Roy.
If you want to be a part of making hospital stays better for children and teens like Roy, the Children's Miracle Network in Tallahassee has a fundraising event tonight called the "Belt Buckle Belt Ball." The 5th annual event will be at "The Farm" at 4300 North Meridian Road in Tallahassee. There will be food, entertainment and a "best buckle" contest. The festivities begin at 6:30, but a meet and greet will start at 5:30. For more information, visit www.tallybbb.org .