Family of pediatric cancer survivor pays it forward to families spending Christmas at Helen DeVos children’s hospital
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – For the past 8 Christmases, the Kendall family has made the drive from Grant, Michigan, to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
On Wednesday they made the trip again, with Christmas stockings in tow.
It’s a ride they know all too well—one they often took when their oldest son, Clayton, was going through chemo there.
“Clayton has survived cancer twice,” said Nicky Kendall, Clayton’s mother.
Clayton’s mom Nicky says they visited Helen DeVos once for Christmas. To their surprise, it was one of their favorites as a family.
“At first I thought it was really bad. But it turned out to be one of the best Christmases because everyone supported us,” Kendall said.
That’s why every year they bring back stockings filled with gas and restaurant gift cards. For families like them, to help with long journeys to the hospital and a break from food at the hospital cafeteria.
They also bring handmade hats for kids to wear as they remember Clayton hated people seeing his bald head, and games and activities for families to enjoy.