When cancer treatment wasn’t working anymore for 11-year-old Caleb Hammond, his family had to make a difficult decision:
Continue life behind hospital walls going through painful treatments that wouldn’t cure him, or bring Caleb home to live out the rest of his life with his family in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
“There were some other options left, but they were going to make him sick and do harm to his body,” said his uncle, Chris Playle, 42, of Oskaloosa. “They decided to call it quits and come home and be a kid and do the things he hasn’t been able to do the last year-and-a-half.”
Caleb, an avid racing fan, is now asking people to send him stickers so they can be placed on his casket after he dies from cancer.
The response so far has been overwhelming, said Playle, who is speaking on behalf of the family while they spend as much time as possible with Caleb.
“We’re trying to get a bunch of them. We’re trying to decorate his casket,” Playle said. “We’re just trying to do as much as we can with him while he’s here.”
A boy’s love for racing
When Caleb was 2-years-old, he would visit his uncle’s house across from the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa.
Before the pits opened, drivers parked their cars on the streets, and Playle would bring Caleb outside to see them.
When the pits opened, they watched as a parade of colorful cars zoomed into the speedway. Once they started racing, the pair would pull up some lawn chairs and watch the cars make their laps.
“He’s my racing buddy. It was kind of our deal,” Playle said. “I probably had just as much fun as he did.”
The first time he attended Front Row Challenge, which brings NASCAR drivers to Oskaloosa to compete for $20,000, Caleb met professional race car driver Kasey Kahne.
“He was all smiles. Enjoyed it quite a bit,” Playle said. “Just being able to go, it was a good time.”
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Source: USA Today