Michael Bell is a regular visitor to the hospital because of a genetic disorder that can cause tumors to form. It appears those visits were on the 8-year-old New Jersey boy's mind when he sat down with Santa last week and asked for a special gift.
When Michael asked for something that wasn't for himself, Santa pulled his mother, Amy Bell, aside and revealed Michael's wish: "If he could borrow some money for kids with cancer," Amy said. "I was expecting him to ask for Eagles stuff."
Michael takes routine trips to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for screenings and has met several kids affected by cancer. But his mom never thought he understood the gravity of their situation.
Word quickly spread among friends and family about Michael's request, and come Christmas Day, that wish came true.
"I thought I was all done, but then I looked to the platform and I saw something under the platform. I took it out, and there was a million hundred dollars," Michael said.
It wasn't quite that much, but Santa did leave Michael with more than $1,000 to help kids with cancer.
Santa's note to Michael read, "You're truly a shining star. I'm so proud of you for thinking of others during this time of year."
His reaction? Priceless.
"That was the real Santa!"
It's a Christmas miracle Amy said she hopes others will carry with them. "Adults can learn a lot from an 8-year-old being selfless," she said.
She said the family is planning to present the donation to one of the doctors in the hospital's neuro-oncology unit, where he gets tested.