DETROIT - A 12-year-old Michigan boy is raking leaves, collecting bottles and doing odd jobs to raise money for a headstone for his best friend, who died earlier this year.
Kenneth “K.J.” Gross, 12, was diagnosed with leukemia as an infant. He endured multiple surgeries and treatments before he died May 1 of congestive heart failure.
Kaleb Klakulak, 12, was by his bedside up until the end. The pair had been friends since second grade. Instead of watching TV and playing PlayStation games at home, they did so in a hospital.
K.J. was buried in a family plot, but LaSondra “San” Singleton, his mother, is unable to pay for a headstone, which costs about $2,500.
“I love Ms. San,” Kaleb told the Detroit News. “I was sad she couldn’t afford it. I wanted people to be able to find (K.J.’s grave) when they went to see him.”
So Kaleb’s mother, Kristy Hall, helped him set up a PayPal account and posted on social media.
"I really think this is a great thing for Kaleb to focus on and help him with his healing as well as K.J.'s mom, who misses her baby and has to visit an unmarked grave," Hall wrote.
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Singleton appreciates the support.
"He and K.J. were so much alike. They were kindred spirits; they were like brothers,” Singleton told the Detroit News. "My son’s not here, but (Kaleb) still loves my son enough to (do) this. It just speaks volumes to the type of people that they are, and it speaks to the type of person that K.J. was -- he impacted people to where they want to do this for him."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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