GARDEN, Kan. – Nearly six months to the day since 7-year-old Tanner McCullough died, his parents Kay and Josh McCullough are giving back to other kids spending Christmas in the hospital.
For Kay McCullough, it’s the things she misses about her son that inspire her to keep giving.
“His hugs were the best. I really miss his hugs,” Kay said.
Tanner battled cancer for over a year, but his family said what defined him was the joy and purpose with which he lived.
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“He loved life more than anyone else. I know,” Kay said. “He loved everything in life.”
Earlier this year, Tanner’s Make-A-Wish dream came true, and wonder workers brought his personal “Tank Camper” to life.
“He called it the ‘Turtle Tank’ because he likes turtles, and his nickname was Tank, so he even designed a whole flag for it and stuff,” Kay said.
But his time with the RV was short – Tanner died in June.
During many of the days and nights he spent in the hospital, playing with his Legos was his favorite pastime. Now his parents give something back in his honor – so his legacy never goes away.
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“Just the little bit of joy that even a Lego kit can bring a kid in the hospital is so immense that we wanted to be able to afford it,” Kay said.
They fill his “Tank Camper” with Lego kits, via donation, to take to children in hospitals in the Kansas City area. That way, this holiday season, they can find a little joy in the midst of the pain.
“If we can put a smile on other people’s faces — and at the same time they think of Tanner, and that, in a way, keeps him alive — as a mother, that’s all I can ask for right now,” Kay said.
If you would like to donate, you can do so online here. You can also donate in person at one of the Kansas City area donation centers:
The Mane on Main, 611 E. Main St., Gardner, KSKC Winair Company, 9980 Lakeview Ave., Lenexa, KS