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By George Itzhak

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what you have — but for a group of children and their families in Atlanta, the holiday has taken on added meaning.

Roughly 500 children and their families will spend the Thanksgiving holiday at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) hospital.

The staff at CHOA know how hard it is for parents to go home and worry about everyday things when they spend most of their days watching their kids try to find the strength to smile and fight through the pain — so they came up with an idea.

They set out with a camera and markers, and asked their young patients one simple question: What are you most thankful for?

Many of the children lit up for the camera. For Taylor, who recently had a tube pulled out of her chest making it difficult for her to speak, her eyes lit up and a big smile spread across her face as she proudly help up a handwritten sign that read: “my new heart.”

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

For those little patients too young to write, their parents took up the markers and expressed their gratitude; despite all the obstacles, their child was still here.

For some of these families, these photos are some of the first they’ve had taken of their children. One mom even told the hospital, “The picture is special because we have not been able to have any professional pictures made with her yet,” she said. “Thank you.”

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta