12-year-old Keith Burkett, also known as Kourageous Keith, has been fighting a battle no child should have to endure. But his pain is over now. And Kourageous Keith passed away after walking his mom down the aisle – his final wish before leaving for Heaven.
Keith Burkett’s health battle began on Christmas Eve when he was only six years old. Chest pain led to an X-ray which revealed enough fluid in the little boy’s lungs to crowd the beating of his heart.
At first, they thought Keith just had pneumonia. But after surgery, the doctor told the boy’s family the lower part of his left lung “looked like hamburger meat.” From there, a lump formed around the incision and his cancer battle began.
WATCH: 12-Year-Old Kourageous Keith Walks Mom Down Aisle
Kourageous Keith Inspires Thousands
Sometimes it’s hard to find the good in something as terrible as a little boy wasting away from cancer. But that’s just how Kourageous Keith got his nickname. Despite the arduous treatments and surgeries, Keith remained hopeful and positive.
He refused to give up and fought to survive, "So that maybe when I grow up I can have a wife and treat her right. I just feel like people should be treated the way you want to be treated."
And while he won’t get that opportunity, Keith made more of an impact in his final years than some folks make their entire life. Thousands followed his story on the Kourageous Keith Facebook page. And the brave boy showed the world how God’s light can shine from even the darkest places.
Community Gives Dying Boy An Early Christmas
The young boy could have easily been traumatized by the holidays after his health troubles began on Christmas Eve. But this inspirational fighter refused to let cancer steal his joy.
"Christmas is my favorite holiday because of all the happiness and joy in the world," he said.
So, when Keith’s rare cancer returned for a fourth time with a vengeance, the entire community rallied to give him an early Christmas celebration in October so he wouldn’t miss out on the season he loves most.
"The idea [for Keith's early Christmas] started with a small parade by his house," said Andrea Metzler who helped organize the event. "It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger … because no one, including the city, said no."
WATCH: Community’s Early Christmas Celebration For Keith Burkett
The celebration included a DJ, more than a hundred volunteers, a Christmas-themed motorcade, charitable T-shirt sales and donations, and a proclamation by Stow Councilman John Pribonic declaring Oct. 21 as "Keith Burkett Day."
But the best thing is the day featured a very happy Keith Burkett!
“The human spirit is guiding us through all this," Keith’s dad said about all of the community’s love and support.
After the incredible Christmas, Keith had just one more wish before leaving for Heaven. To walk his mother down the aisle.
12-Year-Old Gets Dying Wish To Walk Mom Down The Aisle
With Keith in hospice, his mom, Taylore, found herself doing something she’d never imagined. As painful as it was to think of life with without her son, watching him suffer so intensely was even worse.
“I would have never thought I would sit and beg God to take my child but I would rather him be with God then suffer the way he is,” she said. “It’s not fair.”
And when Keith shared one last wish, his heartbroken mom just knew she would do anything to make it come true.
“He said, ‘Well, momma, I would like to walk you down the aisle before I die,’ and then I was like you know what, we’re making it happen,” Taylore said.
And so, a few days before the official ceremony, Keith’s family held a small wedding ceremony in their home. Taylore married Keith’s stepfather, Adam Woodard. And Keith got his wish to walk his lovely mom down the aisle!
WATCH: Sick 12-Year-Old Walks Mom Down The Aisle
A few days later, Taylore’s prayers for peace for her son were answered. Keith “earned his angel wings” and found healing in Heaven with Jesus.
And though Kourageous Keith is gone, the impact and inspiration he left behind will live on.
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Please keep this family in your prayers during this difficult time.
h/t: Inside Edition