Local doctors have given five-year-old Kaleb Boarders just four months left to live after a nearly 17-month battle with brain cancer.
His aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and Maurice Moore, owners of Maurice Moore’s Karate Academy in Lincolnton, hope to fulfill their child nephew’s last wish before God takes him home.
As a result, the couple has planned a special benefit for Saturday at Lincoln Charter School in Lincolnton. The event will not only feature a martial arts tournament but also a raffle with giveaways for gift cards, free karate lessons and a walk-on speaking role for an upcoming movie set to film in the area, Elizabeth said.
In addition, a man from Trinidad will attempt to set a new world record by breaking eight slabs of ice, and an honorary black belt will be given in memory of family friend and former Zippers Restaurant & Lounge owner Ralph Rudisill.
She hopes the community will pitch in and help make Kaleb’s last days memorable.
“If we can give this child one last thing before he dies,” she said, “I feel like that’s the least I can do. I want him to feel that love before he goes.”
Doctors diagnosed the rising kindergartner with a stage-three Anaplastic Astrocytoma (tumor) in February 2012 after Kaleb — nickname “Monkey Business” — experienced loss of appetite, lethargy and imbalance. Strange bruises also popped up on his skin and lingered longer than usual, Elizabeth said.
Since that day, he has undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments, radiation and blood transfusions to shrink or rid his brain of the tumor. While the original mass has since downsized, new smaller ones have appeared.
He even had to return home early from his Make-A-Wish Foundation trip to Disney World after becoming ill.
As a result, his family hopes to use a portion of Saturday’s proceeds to fund another trip for Kaleb to a location of his choosing.
“It’s going to be his last wish,” Elizabeth said.
Additional donations will be used to purchase him new clothes, since steroid treatments have caused him to outgrow his current wardrobe, and cover the cost of gas for trips to and from medical appointments.
While the last year-and-a-half has been nothing but an uphill battle, Kaleb has maintained a positive attitude.
“He’s upbeat,” Elizabeth said. “He’s a really happy kid.”
He is currently receiving an experimental type of chemotherapy as a final option.
Like any other young boy, Kaleb loves monster trucks, trains and anything with wheels. He also enjoys country music, Elizabeth noted.
She encouraged community members to venture out to this weekend’s fun-filled event and support not just Kaleb but the greater evil at hand — cancer.
The Lincolnton resident said she’s lost both her parents to the disease and knows there are hundreds of other local citizens who have experienced similar tragedies with the sickness.
“Everybody knows somebody who either has or has died of cancer,” she said. “It’s personal to everybody. We’re not going to beat this unless we stick together.”
Saturday’s benefit will start 9 a.m. at 133 Eagle Nest Road in Lincolnton. For more information, call (704) 732-1588, (704) 308-1421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.