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Hundreds gather for vigil to honor 5-year-old who died from brain cancer

Peyton Dennis leaves behind a lasting legacy
Posted at 10:36 PM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-16 22:54:06-05

IONIA, Mich. — Hundreds of people gathered in Ionia for a candlelight vigil honoring five year-old Peyton Dennis.

Dennis passed away from a rare form of brain cancer on Saturday.

Main Street was closed down as people from all over lit candles and mourned the local superhero.

“It’s amazing, it’s really amazing. I knew there would be a crowd but I didn’t think it would be this big,” Peyton’s Grandmother Karen Miller said.

“Ionia and the surrounding communities have been so great and so giving,” Miller added.

His family overwhelmed by the support shown by the hundreds who gathered to pray and share stories.

Including local first responders, who gave a hero’s goodbye to their fellow honorary officer.

“Thank you for letting us be a part of Peyton’s life, you certainly didn’t have to. We all have a special place in our heart for Peyton and that’s because you allowed him to be in our lives and you shared him and we thank you for that. God bless you and God bless Peyton,” Michigan State Police Lt. Chris Clute said.

Throughout his courageous battle with DIPG, Peyton smiled through unimaginable pain and his story touched the hearts of everyone he came across.

“He’s brought Ionia back together,” Vigil Organizer Corey Ingvartsen said.

And for that this community is forever thankful. Thankful for Peyton, his family and his mom Katie.

Something this tragic, no family should go through alone. Child or adult cancer is a terrible thing and it affects a lot of people so we are 100% behind her the whole way.” Ingvartsen said.

“She did an amazing job for her son and I want her to know that from the bottom of my heart,” he added.

Funeral Services for Peyton will be 1:00 p.m., Thursday, December 19, 2019 at Lake Funeral Home.