Stories about: Department of U

Christmas with the Applebees: A story of loss, love and gratitude

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From left, Marc, Ivy, Wyatt, Max and Nicki Applebee

Marc and Nicki Applebee pull their rented, 12-passenger van up to the Boston Children’s Hospital main entrance. The couple, along with family friends and their three bundles of joy — Wyatt, 2, and twins Max and Ivy, 1, travel over five hours from their hometown in Surry, Maine, to deliver several hundred new and donated toys to the hospital.

Their annual holiday visit, called “Christmas for Olive” is a labor of love, and one dedicated to the memory of their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Olive Hope, who passed away in July of 2013, due to complications following her third open-heart surgery.

Nicki and Marc say their visit is also a day of gratitude — an opportunity to visit Dr. Richard Yu and the urological team who repaired Max’s kidney function when he was 6 months old. “We have been donating toys to Boston Children’s in Olive’s memory since December 2013,” says Nicki, whose jacket has a “Christmas for Olive” emblem engraved on it. “We also enjoy visiting with Dr. Yu and the nurses that took care of Max while he was here.”

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