October 10, 2010, our world was torn apart. Our then five year old son, Caleb, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). We were told that 85% of the children with this diagnosis would die within one year. We began a journey with cancer that would last only 5 ½ months.
Shortly after diagnosis, a family member told us about the Battle for a Cure Foundation. Through our contact with Battle4aCure, we were asked if we
would like to participate in the Christmas Hope program. We wanted desperately
to have a “normal” Christmas, but we could barely make it through the day, much
less worry about Christmas gifts at the time, so we gladly said, “Okay.”
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Our family was “adopted”
by at least 6 different families for Christmas that year. We received packages
of toys every couple days for almost two weeks. There was one delivery that
still stands out in my mind. We were at home watching TV one evening when the
doorbell rang. When we opened the door, a large gift bag overflowing with gifts
was on the doorstep. We stepped outside to see a lady walking down the driveway
toward her vehicle. When she reached her vehicle, she turned back to us and
said “Merry Christmas,” then got in her vehicle and drove away. We were overwhelmed
with a sense of love and began crying as we walked back into the house.
That Christmas was overflowing with gifts and Caleb was able to be a
happy, excited child about Christmas one last time. And the most wonderful part
is that our younger son, Caden, was included in the entire gift giving process as
Caleb died on March 25, 2011, at 11:45 p.m.
As December 2011 and our first Christmas without Caleb approached, we
were contacted by Battle4aCure once again. They wanted permission to send Caden
a box for Christmas to let him know that they were thinking about him and hadn’t
forgotten him. It was one of the kindest gestures that could have been given.
Caden’s favorite toy is the stuffed duck he received from that box. “Ducky” is
now a treasured member of our family. Caden sleeps with him every single night
and still carries him everywhere he possibly can.
Thank you so much for everything that you do Battle4aCure! As Caleb
would say, “We love you to infinity and beyond!”
With much love and gratitude,
The Huffines Family
Richard, Angela, Caden (and our sweet Caleb in Heaven)
If this post has inspired you in any way, contact Battle4aCure.org to see how you can help. A "Hope Box" like the ones the boys received costs about $50. You can donate to this 501c(3) organization and bring a smile to a child battling cancer and that child's entire family.