GRANDVILLE, Mich. -- A family in West Michigan is extra pleased with their visit to Santa Claus this year. The Pagel family headed off to RiverTown Crossings Mall in Grandville to pay old Saint Nick a visit.
Among them was 5-year-old Maddie Pagel, a girl who's been suffering from brain cancer since she was 4 months old. Tests and hospital visits are the norm for this family and they say it gets even harder during the holidays.
However, this year Santa Claus stepped in to make their spirits bright. When it was finally Maddie's turn in line she approached Santa.
"He grabbed her hand and said 'Here's a bell. Every time you ring that, me, Mrs. Claus and all the elves in the North Pole are going to be praying for you. And you're going to beat cancer, and I know that,'" said Tracy Pagel, Maddie's mom.
This isn't the first time the RiverTown Crossings Santa Claus has touched hearts. Earlier in December he was praised for connecting with a young boy with autism, encouraging him and telling him that it's okay to be himself.
If you'd like to meet Santa, you still can. His last day at the mall will be on Christmas Eve.