The 11-year-old is asking for racing stickers, his favorite sport
When Caleb Hammond’s family decided to stop treatment for his cancer and bring him home, he had one wish: To collect as many racing stickers for his coffin as he can before he dies.
According to Hammond’s GoFundMe page, in just over a year since he was diagnosed with B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the 11-year-old has had dialysis, heart failure, was put into a medically induced coma, had a bone marrow transplant, and spent hundreds of days in the hospital away from family and friends.
Unfortunately, doctors told his family the cancer treatments at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa weren’t working and they made the difficult decision to bring him home to Oskaloosa.
“There were some other options left, but they were going to make him sick and do harm to his body,” his uncle, Chris Playle, told the Des Moines Register. “They decided to call it quits, and come home and be a kid and do the things he hasn’t been able to do the last year and a half.”
Caleb has been an auto racing fan since he was two, his uncle said. He often went with his uncle to the speedway and even met NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne during an event years back. Because of this lifelong love, he’s asking people to send him racing stickers to be placed on his casket.
The racing community heard about Caleb’s story and has stepped up big time to get him everything he’s asked for:
We are thinking about you, Caleb! There are lots of stickers and a signed hat from @tydillon headed your way!
You can share your racing stickers with Caleb Hammond too:
314 North J Street
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
— Germain Racing (@GermainRacing) August 20, 2018
Putting a package together now for you Caleb lots of stickers headed your way https://t.co/61zuoteL8C
— Austin Dillon (@austindillon3) August 21, 2018
— Fastenal Racing (@FastenalRacing) August 22, 2018
— Kristy Labonte (@KristyLabonte) August 20, 2018
— Monster Mile (@MonsterMile) August 21, 2018
Team Kids With Cancer Racing 46-7, a nonprofit for children with cancer, even arranged for the sweet boy to get behind the wheel of a stock car for a six-lap heat at Southern Iowa Speedway this past weekend.
Yesterday I saw a community come together to put a smile on a kid’s face. 11-year-old Caleb Hammond is dealing with leukemia that has become too aggressive to treat, but yesterday morning he had a chance to forget about that for a while and get behind the wheel of a race car. pic.twitter.com/DyqTOEn1QF
— Grant Becker (@GBeckTV) August 19, 2018
In addition to being a kid, playing Legos, and collecting these stickers, Caleb is spending time with those who love him the most. “We’re just trying to get some racing in and trying to do everything we can to keep the spirit up,” Playle said. “The support and everything, all the cards he’s receiving in the mail, it’s been overwhelming.”
Thankfully, Caleb’s received plenty of racing stickers, so the family is asking that no more be sent. Instead, anyone wanting to help can donate towards Caleb’s medical and funeral expenses at the family’s GoFundMe page and his mother’s GoFundMe page.