CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - One family is paying it forward for someone who no longer can.
One of Melissa Sheehan-Black's last wishes was to help someone else in need.
Last year Melissa decided to donate to the Toys for Tots drive. When she arrived at the 22News station she explained why, "These children don't have anything and they'll all wake up Christmas morning and be able to have a smile on their face."
Melissa had brain cancer. Melissa's sister, Nina Nascembeni explained, "When [Melissa] was first diagnosed she didn't want everybody to know, she wanted to handle it in her own way and he friends just gathered around her."
So Melissa wanted to pay it back for all the support she had received.
She and her friends and family gathered 150 gifts for the Toys for Tots drive.
"Unfortunately we lost Melissa more than a month later. Her friends and family of Team Missy would like to honor her memory," said Nascembeni.
In Melissa's honor, they more than doubled the number of toys this year gathering 325 in total.
Melissa's mom, Linda Sheehan said, "My grandson's friends from school, they were bringing toys last night, it's just overwhelming."
Their cars were filled with bags and bags of toys.
Although the holidays are a difficult time but they know Melissa is smiling. "She's shining, as they always would say. She is shining. She had this beautiful smile and a glow about her, her smile infected you," said Nascembeni.
"She just wanted to make sure that she could give back and put a smile on a little boy or girl and make them have a wonderful Christmas so if this is the way we can do it then that's what we'll do and keep her memory going," Sheehan added.
Melissa's family and, now 8 year old son, were right by her side last year and while she's not with them this year, they continue her fight. "You hear about all other types of cancers but not very much about brain cancer so we will continue this, we will continue her fight for her," said Nascembeni.
Melissa's family has vowed to make the donation to Toys for Tots an annual tradition because they know it's what Melissa would want.