A demand for hats for a cancer patient receives an overwhelming response.

INDIANAPOLIS – It started with a Facebook post and a simple request: “Let’s give him hats, lots of hats.”

Nine-year-old Caleb Lawalin and his family live on the south side of Indianapolis. Almost a year ago, Caleb’s mother, Darcie Lawalin, noticed that he was growing extremely fast and developing a lot of acne.

She took him to a pediatrician, who performed tests before sending him to Riley Children’s Hospital, which sent him to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.

Doctors found a metastatic tumor in Caleb’s pituitary gland, a small bean-shaped gland at the base of the brain. Although it is small, it influences almost every part of the body.

Her cancer is considered to be the rare of the few. In fact, St. Jude has never dealt with him before. He is currently undergoing intense radiation therapy.

When Caleb started losing his hair from the treatment, his Aunt Shonna asked people to send him hats to help him stop thinking about appointments and the diagnosis.

The post made its way into social media and was shared over 21,000 times. Caleb received over 1000 hats from across the country and even Australia.

“It really restored my faith in people. It is amazing that complete strangers contacted like this, ”Lawalin said.

He has so many hats that they had to dedicate a room to the Ronald McDonald House to place all the packages because Caleb’s room was not big enough.

Caleb shares his assortment of hats with other children at the hospital.

“Just reading all the letters and knowing that people took the time to get a hat, write a letter, send a mail is amazing,” Lawalin said.

Caleb and his mother return to Indianapolis after his last round of radiation on Thursday, where he will receive another surprise. He will be home for about six weeks recovering from treatment before returning to see if the radiation has worked.

If you want to send a hat to Caleb, his family, you can email them to:

Reba Thomas
6299 W. State Road 48
Bloomington IN 47404


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