Clayton Castle (Courtesy photo)
WOODWAY (December 17, 2012)- This Christmas, many try to find a way to help those enduring tough times. But for 7-year-old Woodway Elementary student Clayton Castle, the spirit of giving is stronger than normal.
Clayton is nearing the finish line during his fight with cancer. Clayton was marching toward kindergarten graduation at the beginning of 2012, when his mother realized that his hearing had become slightly impaired.
"They did more and more scans that were just gut wrenching," Clayton's mother Kesleigh Castle said.
A tumor was found in Clayton's ear. In February 2012, he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer found in children.
"You go through all of these emotions," Clayton's father Chad Castle said.
"You know, what's the extent of the disease? Are were talking life? Death? All of those things in-between."
Clayton began chemotherapy immediately. Sometimes he would have to travel to Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth for treatment.
"They poke you with the needle and it hurts," Clayton said.
"I just always felt sick in the hospital."
But as months passed, Clayton's cancer began to fade. He was allowed to go back to school at Woodway Elementary.
Just in time to let his Christmas spirit shine.
"Every year, Woodway Elementary has a tradition where each grade level adopts a charity before Christmas," Woodway Elementary Principal Aaron Pena said.
"This year, Clayton had an idea of his own."
Clayton told teachers he wanted to collect hats and books for kids unable go home for the holidays, because they're battling cancer at Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth.
"I chose books because the hospital can be really boring," Clayton said.
"When it gets cold, they can use the hats to keep their head warm."
Dozens of hats and books now surround a Christmas tree in the first grade hallway of Woodway Elementary.
Clayton's last chemo treatment is this Friday at Cook's Children's Hospital.
On that day, he'll give away the Christmas hats and books collected to the children whom he believes need Christmas most.