Christmas is that time of year when families love stringing up beautiful lights, put up their tree, and make merry. One community is coming together to help a special, young lady enjoy precious time with her family and friends.
Since Kayleigh McClendon’s seventh birthday, she’s been fighting for her life against brain cancer. Recently, nurses informed the McClendon family that she may be running out of time.
For months, doctors have been trying to treat it, and now they don’t know how long she has to live. Not only does Kayleigh have the support of her mom, dad, older brother, and older sister, but now her entire community.
Kayleigh’s father, Tim, decided to decorate their home early for Christmas at her request. Since purple happens to be the young girl’s favorite color — but also represents her life threatening illness — he decorated the home with only purple lights and decorations.
The McClendon’s neighbor, Melissa Miller, asked what she could do to help them during this time of uncertainty. The family suggested she could put up her own purple lights and decorations, and she took them up on the challenge.
Soon, the entire neighborhood was lighting up purple. Stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot were all sold out of purple lights in support of the Hartselle, Alabama family.
“I rarely get a moment to even leave Kayleigh’s side”, her mother wrote on Facebook, “She doesn’t even like it when I take a bathroom break, but tonight I snuck out so I could checkout Tim’s handiwork.” That’s when she saw all the purple lights up and down their street.
“Our neighbors have changed out their light bulbs and used purple spotlights to make our street ‘purple out.’” While Kayleigh has been too sick to go outside, she was able to catch glimpses through the window of all the lights and was elated!
Nearly every house on the block now displays purple lights. McClendon says it’s left quite an impression, seeing their community rally behind them.
“For a seven-year-old she’s been tough through all of it,” her father notes of Kayleigh’s bravery. “Pokes and prods and tests, and she did every single MRI and CT without sedation. And even for adults, that’s a huge deal.”
Her mother shares, “Even when things seems the darkest you can still find reasons to rejoice. And when you CHOOSE to rejoice in the storm – everything changes. I pray each one of you will choose well.”
Christmas came early for Kayleigh McClendon, and it’s purple just as she has always wanted. The family is raising money for her at PrayersforKaleigh.com.
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