LEBO, Kan. — Santa Claus made an early Christmas delivery over the weekend to a little boy in Kansas diagnosed with rhabdoid kidney cancer.
Christian Risner may not survive until Christmas. He had been going through treatment, and was two months away from being done with them, when they discovered the cancer had metastasized into his lungs.
When the community found out that he was given only three months to live, they sprang into action. Businesses began donating items. Homes started glowing with Christmas lights three months ahead of the holiday.
People came together to help the family who faced a terrible choice.
“We wanted him to be like this. With hair. No NG tube. Living a normal 3-year-old’s life. Enjoying time with his family,” Josh Risner, Christian’s dad said.
A silent auction from business donations helped provide a horse-drawn carriage so Christian and his family could see all the lights. Then the community was invited to share a Christmas meal with them.
“It blows my mind. When he got sick, this community, it helped out tremendously,” said Risner.
Lebo, Kan., is about 93 miles from Kansas City, down I-35, before you reach Emporia.
“I wanted to make sure his family was able to celebrate something good. Have some and make memories,” said Kelly Freund, who helped organize the September Christmas.