CEDAR SPRINGS, MICH.,– A family in Cedar Springs has found a way to remember their son who died from cancer, with a bittersweet celebration every year on his birthday.
For the past three years, the Burgess’ have donated toys and other gifts to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids on May 16th as part of “SuperBub’s SuperHeroes”, an initiative in honor of Braeden Burgess.
Braedon, who loved superheroes, was affectionately called “Bub”. He would have turned eight years old on May 16, 2013.
“That’s just kind of our little way to remember him on that day,” explained Dawn Burgess, Braeden’s mom.”It’s neat when they look forward to it, and we look forward to it, because it means way more for us, than it does for them and I don’t think they get that, but it does.”
Braeden was diagnosed a day before his second birthday in May 2007 with neuroblastoma cancer. After several cycles of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and radiation therapy, he relapsed in August 2008 and passed away a few weeks before his fourth birthday.
“The hospital was the place he spent so much of his time,” Dawn told FOX 17 News. “We decided that you know, those people gave us so much, that we wanted to give something back to them and the other families who are going through what we went through.”
The family says it’s a way to “pay it forward” and celebrate Braeden despite the sadness.
“On top of getting to say thank you to them, we get something that helps us still celebrate him. Still celebrate a day that should be celebrated, his birthday,” said Dawn. “He inspired us so much more than what you would expect from such a short time here.”
The Burgess family has also launched a campaign called “Gold: The New Pink” to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
For more information on “SuperBub’s SuperHeroes”, click here.
For more information on “Gold: The New Pink”, click here.