Pediatric patients at the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital got surprise valentines from U.S. Sen. Tim Scott on Friday.

Scott, R-S.C., delivered valentines, carnations and pencils to children at MUSC for a third year in a row. He stopped for a few minutes to play a video game with 8-year-old Shi'Nara Grant outside her hospital room. He asked Mack Shieder, 5, who is battling leukemia, about his favorite football team and the Star Wars T-shirt he was wearing.

"Do you have a favorite character in Star Wars?" Scott asked.

"Darth Vader," Mack said.

"Darth Vader! I like Darth Vader, too," the senator said.

Scott also spoke to patients with sickle cell disease.

In January, Scott announced he will co-chair a joint congressional caucus on sickle cell disease genetic disorder that disproportionately affects African-Americans.

"It'd be nice in the next two decades - I've said 10 to 15, maybe 20 years - to actually find a cure for this disease," he said. "Hopefully, if we put enough energy and efforts behind it, we'll have some real success."

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.