After his best friend passed away from a battle with cancer, one preteen decided to work odd jobs around the neighborhood to purchase a gravestone for his friend, K.J. Gross.
Kenneth ‘K.J.’ Gross, who was also 12, and Kaleb Klakulak had been best friends since the second grade.
That is, until their friendship was cut short after K.J. passed away in May.
As a child, K.J. had been diagnosed with leukemia and had to go through multiple surgeries as well as chemotherapy.
According to Detroit News, K.J. passed away from congestive heart failure.
K.J. was buried at a cemetery in Detroit in a family plot but his grave has been left unmarked as his family was not able to afford a headstone.
Kaleb then took it upon himself to work odd jobs around town, like raking leaves and collecting bottles to help raise funds to purchase the gravestone.
He additionally set up a PayPal account to receive donations, with a target goal of $2,500.
It has since been reached but any donations made now will go towards the Singleton family to help get back on their feet.
K.J.’s mother, LaSondra Singleton, was forced to leave her job as a school cafeteria worker so she could be close to K.J. as his health declined.
Kaleb wanted to give LaSondra, or as she is called ‘San,’ the donations before Christmas.H
“I love Ms. San. 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.” Kaleb shared with the Detroit News.
Kaleb’s mother, Kristy Hall, has helped him in his fundraising efforts –posting to Facebook:
“If you have bottles or odd jobs that Kaleb can do to earn money he would greatly appreciate that.”
“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.”
San shared with the news outlet about her son’s friendship with Kaleb.
“K.J. used to come home every day telling me about Kaleb, ‘Mom, you’ve got to meet Kaleb; you’ve got to meet Kaleb,'” she said.
“At the end of the school year, I finally met Kaleb. Then I met his mom, and we all just clicked.
“He and K.J. were so much alike. They were kindred spirits; they were like brothers. Even their facial features were alike – the glasses and everything.”
Kaleb’s mom posted to Facebook, saying:
“I have been weepy for days. The feel-good kinda weeps. God has truly blessed. For those of you who have given toward KJ’s headstone, you have touched me more than I can express. Thank you for loving on a family that I love so so dearly.”
“Thank you for lightening the load a little and giving a grieving momma some joy! KJ has touched our family, forever changing each of us. I’m so thankful that Kaleb and Kj crossed paths! God knew we would need that family! Because they are my family! It isn’t too late to donate! “
If you feel led to donate, you can do so here.
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