When Kaleb and his family moved to Warren, Michigan, he had to be the new kid in town. Kaleb was a quiet and shy second-grader, and all the new faces made it tough for him. But then he met K.J., who was also 11 years old, and they became really good friends!
They both really liked the same stuff and got along great. They just really understood each other, which can be tough with other people. And it didn’t matter at all that they were different races.
Both moms became friends, even though they were both raising their kids on their own. Kaleb and his friend had a strong friendship, and Kaleb didn’t mind that his buddy had health issues. They supported each other through thick and thin.
Last December, during Christmas, K.J. got really sick. His heart was not working well, and the doctors said he needed a new one right away. Sadly, they couldn’t find a new heart for him, and in May, K.J. and his family were told he was very sick. His best friend, who he played with a lot, was dying, and it was almost the end.
Little Kaleb said a sad goodbye to K.J., and shortly after that, the little boy passed away.
K.J.’s family put him in a special place where their family is buried, but they didn’t have enough money to put a special stone with his name on it. Losing their son made them really sad, and now they couldn’t even give him a special stone.
When Kaleb learned about it, he had lots of questions. He wanted to help his friend’s family, who were feeling very sad. So he asked his mom how much a special stone for his friend costs. After that, he did different jobs in the neighborhood, like collecting bottles for recycling money. Kaleb also made an account to ask for donations to get a special stone for his friend, K.J.
Kaleb and his mom wanted to help K.J.’s mom. They set a goal to collect $2,500 quickly. Soon, they invited K.J.’s mom to their home and gave her the money to buy a special stone for K.J.’s grave.
K.J.’s mom, LaSondra, said, “I cried because it was a surprise. I cried because I’m trying to understand things each day. Now, I know where he’ll stay forever, and I can visit him. It’s kind of sad and happy because it’s the last part for me. I wanted to get a special stone for him, but it also means everything is finished for me.”
Kaleb is doing his best to make friends, but his mom, Kristy, says he hasn’t found a new friend yet. Kristy says, “I believe it’s hard for him because he’s afraid. He doesn’t want to lose someone else.”