Amazing little boy carries out jobs to help raise money to buy his best friend a gravestone
Kenneth Gross, better known to his friends and family as K.J, passed away in May this year. The boy was only twelve years old at the time, but had been battling leukaemia for eleven years, before he died of congestive heart failure.
His family laid him to rest in a family plot at Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, but his grave has been left unmarked after they couldn't afford a headstone. Fortunately for them, K.J. had a close friend who is still looking out for him.
Kaleb Klakulak, 12, took on all sorts of odd jobs to earn his own money, all with the aim to save up and help the family afford a headstone. These jobs included the likes of collecting bottles and raking leaves in his neighbourhood, until he thought to collect donations via PayPal. Now, the initial goal of $2,500 has been met, but they are still welcoming donations to help K.J.'s family cope in a dire situation.
"My son’s not here, but [Kaleb] still loves my son enough to [do] this," K.J.'s mother, LaSondra Singleton, told Detroit News. "It just speaks volumes to the type of people that they are, and it speaks to the type of person that K.J. was - he impacted people to where they want to do this for him."
LaSondra discovered that her son had leukaemia when he was only 13 months old. He initially received a bone marrow transplant from his sister, but a few years later he relapsed once more. He got another transplant from an unknown donor, according to the mother, but died before he could receive a much-needed heart transplant.
But in Kaleb, he had a close friend to help him through, as his mother explained:
"K.J. used to come home every day telling me about Kaleb: ‘Mom, you’ve got to meet Kaleb; you’ve got to meet Kaleb'. At the end of the school year, I finally met Kaleb. Then I met his mom, and we all just clicked.
"He and K.J. were so much alike. They were kindred spirits; they were like brothers. Even their facial features were alike — the glasses and everything."
K.J. was hospitalised in January, in what would turn out to be the final time. During this period, his mother had to quit her job as a school cafeteria worker so she could be with him. In September, she returned to the job, but with five children and a mother dealing with Alzheimer's disease, the donations are much-needed.
"I love Ms. San, [LaSondra] I was sad she couldn't afford it," Kaleb said. "I wanted people to be able to find [K.J.'s grave] when they went to see him."
"I really think this is a great thing for Kaleb to focus on and help him with his healing as well as K.J.'s mom, who misses her baby and has to visit an unmarked grave," Kaleb's mother, Kirsty, wrote in a Facebook post, in which she asked her community if they needed her son for any work.
The campaign has only 12 days left, and are still accepting donations towards the family. If you want to donate, you can visit the page here.