12-year-old boy rakes leaves to raise money to buy a gravestone for a friend who died of cancer

Junie Sihlangu
Dec 10, 2018
02:44 P.M.

Kenneth "K.J." Gross was only 13-months-old when his mother found out that he had leukemia. The baby got a bone marrow transplant from his sister but three-and-a-half years later he relapsed.


After a long battle with cancer, Kenneth passed away of congestive heart failure on May 1. His best friend, Kaleb Klakulak is now fundraising to buy him a headstone for his grave.

Kenneth "K.J." Gross, 12, and Kaleb Klakulak, 12, have been best friends since second grade. Due to Gross living with leukemia, the pair would sometimes watch TV and played video games in a hospital room.

The two children hung together until Gross took his last breath. His mother couldn’t afford a headstone and when Klakulak found out he vowed to get a gravestone for his friend’s unmarked grave at Detroit's Elmwood Cemetery.


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. The preteen has been working to raise the money by doing odd jobs like collecting pop bottles and asking for PayPal donations on social media.

Gross’ mother LaSondra "San" Singleton is the bread-winner of her family of five children and a mother with Alzheimer's disease. Klakulak hoped to give the headstone to Singleton as a Christmas present.

He explained:

"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."


Kristy Hall, Klakulak's mother, was the one who helped him set up a PayPal account. She also posted on Facebook: "If you have bottles or odd jobs that Kaleb can do to earn money he would greatly appreciate that.”


She added:

"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.”

So far, the preteen is about halfway to his goal of $2,500. Recently, Klakulak, his mother and stepfather, Jimmy Hall, surprised Singleton with $900.


The touching moment was captured on a cell phone video where Singleton was seen burying her face in her hands and crying before giving Klakulak a hug. After Gross’ funeral at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist, he was buried in a family plot at Elmwood Cemetery.

Donations for his headstone can be made here.

Matthew McDonnell, then-6, has been battling a stage IV Wilms tumor, which is a pediatric kidney tumor. The boy has undergone surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and trial immunotherapy treatments to try and beat his illness.

However, to show his selfless nature two years ago, the young boy hosted a hot cocoa stand called Matthew’s Miraculous Hot Cocoa to raise money for other children with cancer. His efforts raised $6,500 in two hours from more than 500 people.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

Aaron Carter’s Toddler Son Visits His Grave on Late Singer’s 1st Death Anniversary

November 07, 2023

Mom of Quintuplets Can’t Pay For Groceries, Voice behind Says, ‘Your Bill Is Already Covered’ — Story of the Day

February 21, 2024

Prince Harry Seen Arriving at Clarence House after King Charles' Cancer Announcement — 'The Diagnosis Is More Serious,' Fans Worry

February 07, 2024

2-Year-Old Boy Found Dead Curled up in His Pyjamas Next to His Breathless Father: 'It Breaks My Heart'

January 17, 2024

At His Mother's Gravesite, Ted Meets Ragged Homeless Man Who Is a Carbon Copy of Him – Story of the Day

February 27, 2024

King Charles Spotted after Brief Meeting with Prince Harry Following Cancer News – Photo

February 07, 2024

Karl Malone Has 7 Children with 3 Women & 3 Were Born Before He Married

December 20, 2023

John Travolta’s Late Wife Kelly Preston Didn’t Consider the Risks & Got Pregnant at 47 — Pics of Their ‘Miracle’ Boy Now

January 30, 2024

Man Helps Woman in Trouble on the Road, 3 Years Later He Meets Her Again at His Mother's House

November 12, 2023

Texas Mom of 10 Boys Prays for a Baby Girl – Dies 11 Days after Giving Birth to Her First Daughter

November 10, 2023

Man Born with Life Expectancy of 2 Years Is Now Father to Cute Twins Who ‘Look like Daddy’

December 01, 2023

Wendy Williams’ Son Afraid She ‘Could Die’: He Speaks Out about Mom’s Diagnosis with ‘Pain’ in His Eyes

February 27, 2024

Tom Brady's Former Mother-in-Law Passes Away After Battling an Illness Similar to What His Mother Survived – Details

January 29, 2024

Prince Harry Finally Breaks His Silence on King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis and Possible Family Reunion

February 16, 2024