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If your child were Leland, what do you think they would wish for?

Posted by on May. 4, 2012 at 8:53 AM
  • 9 Replies

5-Year-Old Cancer Patient Uses His 'Make a Wish' to Help Feed Hungry Kids

Posted by Jeanne Sager on May 2, 2012 

Leland CamaraThere isn't much most of us wouldn't do for a little kid with cancer. We'll shave our heads, open our wallets, sell lemonade, really, the list goes on. Whatever it takes to help a child in need, we'll do. They deserve it. But a 5-year-old boy with leukemia doesn't want our help. He wants to help others.

Leland Camara just became the kid with perhaps the most amazing wish to ever make its way into the offices of the Make a Wish Foundation. After months of his community showering his family with support, the Alaska tot asked for help from the non-profit that makes dreams come true for sick kids. He wanted them to help him give back.

Are you weeping yet?

Their answer was to send Leland's family from Alaska to Disneyland, but before he left, to let him help out at Kid's Kitchen, a program that provides free meals to children living in poverty. He literally walked around with plates of food in his hand, passing them off to kids who might have gone hungry if it weren't for the program.

More from The Stir: 9-Year-Old With Cancer Dances His Way Into Our Hearts (VIDEO)

Little Leland's story would probably have set me off on a crying jag on a regular day. But it just so happens that I read about him on the same week that I met the people behind Kids Rocking Cancer, a non-profit developed not only to support kids like Leland and help their families with fundraisers but specifically to address the emotional issues unique to children looking at cancer. Kids don't deal with this disease the way adults do. Keeping it together like Leland isn't the norm.

Video of him is striking. It shows a little boy whose parents have not only done a wonderful job raising a child who understands what it means to care about people, but they've had the unenviable task of watching their child fight cancer. If I were in their shoes, I'm not sure I would have managed both at the same time. I don't have much use for bratty, spoiled kids, but when a child has cancer, I give them a pass. I say let them be spoiled, let them be bratty, let them have everything they want and more!

And yet, Leland's parents have managed to avoid that trap. With their sick little boy, they've somehow managed to do better than countless parents who haven't had the challenge of chemotherapy and hospital visits. There's a lesson in there for us all, isn't there?

If you don't think you can raise a child who understand what it means to give back, you aren't trying hard enough.

 

If your child were Leland, what do you think they would wish for?

by on May. 4, 2012 at 8:53 AM
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Replies (1-9):
momofsixangels
by on May. 4, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Wow!!! That little boy has such a big heart! He is so amazing.How unselfish of him.To put others before himself.A lot of grown ups could learn from his example.

janessa27
by on May. 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

 Wow what a remarkable and selfless child at age 5!

SisterPeach
by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Sometimes, it's the hardships that make the child....kwim?

LindaClement
by on May. 4, 2012 at 8:35 PM

I can't imagine... one of them is bothered by the idea of pregnant teens being without loving support, the other is a major fan of tigers.

I grew up with a kid whose little sister's parents decided to 'let her be spoiled' because she had brain cancer. She survived --as a selfish, bratty, spoiled monster. Until she was 38.

I don't recommend it.

LindaClement
by on May. 4, 2012 at 8:35 PM

As a friend's counsellor said: I've never known anyone interesting who never had anything bad happen to them.

Quoting SisterPeach:

Sometimes, it's the hardships that make the child....kwim?


gmadiane
by on May. 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I have always believed in angels on earth, ones sent here to make a difference, he is one

KenzieQsMommy
by on May. 5, 2012 at 1:14 PM

What an angel he is!! I have no idea what my child would ask for and I pray with every ounce of my being I never have to find out.

othermom
by on May. 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I don't know what they would wish for, but he is a very special child

StephanAndCoral
by Stephanie on May. 5, 2012 at 6:34 PM

he is a very sweet considerate child! I do not know what my kids would wish for.  

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