FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — A nine-year-old boy surprised his best friend, and his mother, by doing something selfless.
“Sometimes people call me bald and I just don’t care about it. I just stay who I am and I just stay who I represent, which is Riley Children’s Hospital,” Walter Paige says proudly.
Paige’s aunt was treated at Riley years ago, so when he learned his best friend’s little brother was just diagnosed and treated there for leukemia, he shaved his head to show support for all its patients.
But he didn’t stop there.
“I wanted to give Marshall a gift. I know that he would come home to something really snuggly like a little smiley faced teddy bear. Because he’s been through a lot at Riley. Yes, he has,” he says.
Even though two-year-old Marshall loves the Chicago Blackhawks, and Walter built him a bear wearing a full Hawks hockey outfit, Marshall wasn’t sure what to think at first.
But his mom knows exactly what to think.
“He loves hockey so that’s a huge win right there,” Abby Warner says.
She says it’s been a whirlwind few weeks, with what began as persistent ear infections and fevers.
When a freckle-like rash developed, she took Marshall to the hospital, where doctors did blood work.
The next day they went to Riley to begin treatment, and just returned home this week.
And she loves that Walter wanted to support not only Marshall, but his best friend Maxwell, too.
“My heart. It just pulls on my heart to see Max’s friend rally around him and support him in that way is really neat to see,” she says.
Walter’s mother is thrilled that her only child is taking the idea of selflessness to heart.
“It showed that he’s really been listening to the things we tell him and talk about as far as being selfish and giving to others. So we were definitely excited,” Tyko Williams says.
Thanks to Walter, little Marshall now has his own really snuggly, smiley faced teddy bear to comfort him as he goes through weekly chemo treatments to fight his leukemia.