GRANT, Mich.– Clayton Kendall still has the baseball cap that started it all. When he was fighting leukemia two years ago, the hat served as somewhat of a security blanket.
“He did not like the fact that he had a bald head. He didn’t even like looking at himself in the mirror,” explained Jim Kendall, Clayton’s dad. “He wore [the hat] pretty much the entire time.”
Clayton, 6, is now celebrating two years of remission. But, remembering what that baseball cap meant to him inspired his parents to help other young kids fighting cancer.
They launched “Caps For Clayton” in October 2011. The initiative aims to collect and donate new hats to pediatric cancer patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. So far, the Kendalls have been able to give away more than a thousand hats. Clayton is a big part of the operation.
“He loves doing that, and bringing them, loves to push the cart in to deliver them,” said Nicky Kendall, his mother. “We had a lot of support, so we just want to show that support back.”
The family spreads awareness and accepts donation through a special Facebook page. The Kendalls tell FOX 17 they still have about a thousand more hats in their home they also plan to give away.
“For some of these kids, the hats are a big deal because it hides one of the most obvious effects of the treatment, and that’s a bald head,” said Jim. “It’s big for their self-confidence. It was big for Clayton’s self-confidence.”
The Kendalls plan to drop off another load of hats by the end of the summer. For more information, or if you’d like to donate, click here.