Kansas City hairstylists work together to make wishes come true for kid fighting cancer

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's been said that kindness doesn't cost a dime.

When a hairstylist from south Kansas City discovered one of her young clients was fighting cancer, she and others went to work helping make his wishes come true.

When little Rush King, 6, and his family first visited the Sport Clips barbershop at 133rd Street and State Line Road, the staff says it was obvious the young man wasn't well. His mother, Brittany Staley, says Rush was diagnosed with liver cancer just before his second birthday, and despite a liver transplant five years ago, his cancer lingers on.

"Can you tell me what you'd like for your birthday this year," Staley could be heard asking her son on Friday.

Rush's next birthday is coming on Sept. 3rd. It will be his seventh, and hopefully, not his last. Staley says her son is also hearing-impaired now, and doctors told the family Rush's cancer has spread to his lungs, leaving him with less than a year to live. Rush wears a feeding tube that enters through his nose, supplying him with calories he's lost during cancer treatments.

"For me, it's a struggle. I have other children, and it's hard to stay strong for them when all I think about is the struggle he's going through constantly," Staley told FOX 4 News.

Kelita Castle manages that Sport Clips location, and she's gotten to know Rush's family, even tending to his hair after six rounds of chemotherapy made it fall out.

"It breaks my heart to see a little boy sick," Castle said, while fighting back tears. "I admire his mom for how hard she is through everything."

Castle says on August 26th, her barbershop will donate part of its proceeds toward Rush's wish list of gifts, which includes Lighting McQueen items from the "Cars" movies, in hopes of making his birthday memorable.

"I just want to see the smile on his face on his birthday that we did make his dreams come true," Castle said.

Staley says Sport Clips isn't alone. The Victory Project, a non-profit group operated by Sporting Kansas City, helped send the family on vacation to the Caribbean in June, making Rush one of many kids with cancer the victory project has blessed.

"We've not given up hope. We believe in miracles, but it's still hard," Staley said.

Castle says she's given haircuts to other sick kids, and they always get in her heart. His family says they're not sure how much time Rush has remaining, and Castle says she wants to make sure his remaining days are fun.

The Victory Project tells FOX 4 News they're helping Rush's family adopt a new puppy. They're working with a group from Iowa to adopt the new dog.