Hundreds packed LaGrange Square Friday to remember a 13-year-old boy who died of cancer.
Plans for a candlelight prayer vigil for Kyle Abernathy turned from hopeful to somber after he succumbed to cancer earlier that day. The crowd remembered Kyle as a strong-spirited kid in spite of his many obstacles.
Kyle was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in 2010. He had tumors in his left leg and right lung. Over the course of numerous chemotherapy and radiation sessions and surgeries, the cancer couldn't be stopped.
This year malignant tumors spread throughout his body, including more than five in his head. Family and friends planned the vigil as they announced Kyle's relocation to a LaGrange hospice, but he didn't make it through the end of the week.
At the vigil Team Kyle fans sported hats, wristbands, shirts and more as they made donations. They described him as a devoted Christian who never stopped trying to help others.
"He was just a sweet spirit, and always a pleasure to be around," says Kyle's youth minister John Oliver. "I don't ever remember him having an attitude with me, which is rare, or anything like that. He was just a pleasure to be around."
Team Kyle supporter Rachel Arrington says, "To be so young and to be fighting something that awful, I've never seen anyone in my life so happy."
Team Kyle has also made its mark on social media with the slogans "Never Ever Give Up," or #NEGU on Twitter, and "Flex our Faith," or #flexnfaith on Twitter.
Ewing's sarcoma is a type of cancer that begins in bones and soft tissue. Kyle's father says his son is no longer in pain, and that his loss is heaven's gain.
Donations to Team Kyle will help pay for outstanding medical bills. Funeral arrangements are pending.
1350 13th Avenue
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