Elementary School Supports 5-Year-Old Cancer Patient With Hats - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Elementary School Supports 5-Year-Old Cancer Patient With Hats

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Charlie Waller Charlie Waller
Charlie's class at Marble Elementary School Charlie's class at Marble Elementary School

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Childhood is life filled with wonder, joy and imagination, but for one 5-year-old that precious life won't be long.

Charlie Waller was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2011. He created a special day so that all children with his condition will never feel different.

The Art for Charlie Foundation is a charity established by Charlie's parents to help children and families face the unthinkable, a child's terminal diagnosis.

Charlie's classmates are honoring him with a special hat day. A fashion item for some, a bad hair day cover-up for other, but to one elementary school, the symbol of a simple hat means much more.

"He wanted kids to feel a part of the group everyday on an on going basis, so we've decided that every Wednesday is going to be hat day here at Marble," said Dori Leyko, Principal, Marble Elementary School.

"I like helping Charlie," said a 5-year-old classmate.

And the students of Marble are using hats to give Charlie the greatest support of all.

"People sometimes, their hair falls out, so we don't want them to feel like they have to wear a hat," said Olivia Preisser, a second grader at Marble Elementary School.

Charlie's grandmother says that Charlie wants everyone to feel the same and his wish is for everyone to be kind.

"He's been in relatively good health until recently. So combined with feeling rotten and the loss of his hair, he's started to say some important things. Be kind to each other," said Penny Grahamooll, Charlie's Grandmother. "For children, school is forever, it's not going to be forever for Charlie."

"That voice that he brought out for a five-year-old, he has so much empathy. In terms of how thoughtful he is for how other children feel. He spoke not just of hat day, but he spoke of his wishes for other children to be kind to one another."

And Charlie has taught the students of Marble that support is the best way to be kind.

Charlie's classmates say, "we love you Charlie!"

The Art for Charlie showcase goes from Tuesday until Thursday this week. For more information, visit www.artforcharlie.com.

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