Community rallies behind local boy battling cancer

LECOMPTON, Kan. (KSNT) – A local community is using Valentine’s Day to help a 3-month-old boy win his fight against cancer.

Grit Henderson was diagnosed with stage four embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. He’s currently being treated at the St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis.

It’s times like this that Grit’s parents are thankful they named him Grit.

“Grit means persevering through difficult and tough times, fighting tenaciously, being tough. It’s just a characteristic that I admire in human beings and I hope my kid has that,” said Nolan Henderson, Grit’s father.

Nolan and more than 120 others from across the community came together for the Valentine’s Benefit Dinner at the Stull United Methodist Church in Lecompton Saturday. This year the church decided to honor Grit and his family,

“God always has a way of presenting someone to us,” said Brenna Wulfkuhle, an organizer at Stull United Methodist Church. “I’ve even had former teachers of Nolan call and have sent donations to him and so it’s just neat to see how we’re all connected in some way.”

Nolan works as a football coach at Free State High School in Lawrence. He told the crowd Saturday that he gives Grit a pep talk, just like the one he gives his players, every time he has to go into surgery. Nolan says all the love and support keeps him hopeful for the future.

“Some day when he’s back walking around here and you see a smiley boy that’s helping people and trying to make his community better. That’s probably Grit,” said Nolan.

All of the proceeds from the Valentine’s Benefit Dinner will go directly to Grit’s family. A Go Fund Me has currently raised over $36,000 for Grit’s family. Team Grit t-shirts are also being sold to help Grit’s family with expenses.

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