Chapter 2: A Shining Piece of Metal….A Splash of Color, A Splash of Hope

When Kathy Headlee began contemplating what she wanted to accomplish by visiting an orphanage in Romania, color played a key role in her plans.

Kathy was determined to make a real difference at the orphanage.   She wanted to accomplish the somewhat intangible, such as bringing comfort and peace to young, tender souls; but she also wanted to bring about tangible—specific and physical—changes to the orphanage itself. And so she acquired buckets of brightly colored paint…

And when she arrived at the orphanage, she and her voluteers set about to make a colorful change.

As the days passed a charming transformation began to take place at the orphanage. Grey walls became peach, pink, sky blue and bright summer yellow. And near the ceiling there was a cheery row of stenciled rainbows, teddy bear shapes, butterflies and stars.

When I saw the following story about Noah Wilson, I was struck how he, like Kathy,  realized the role that color plays in lifting spirits.


Noah Wilson remembered for legacy of kindness, courage

Royals fan, 7, dies days after new leukemia diagnosis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —A 7-year-old Royals superfan whose spirit while fighting cancer captured hearts across Kansas City and the nation died suddenly Tuesday night.

Noah, who had completed treatment for bone cancer last month, was diagnosed with leukemia over the weekend. Doctors planned chemotherapy and a possible bone marrow transplant, but Noah died before those treatments could do any good.

“He just seemed to embody this innocence, this sense of hope, in spite of this great adversity, and I think, that’s really going to be his legacy, kind of that power, through his innocence,” said Noah’s uncle, Kelly Rickert.

His family said they found a handmade card tucked on Noah’s bedside table where he thanked God for everything He has done

KMBC 9 News first met Noah when he started a campaign to help other sick children by collecting colorful bandages to replace standard-issue hospital beige ones. He said he thought the splash of color in a hospital environment might bring smiles.

His campaign ultimately collected thousands of boxes of donated bandages and $7,000.

When word got out that his only birthday wish was to see the Royals play in the World Series, donations poured in. Joe Torre, on behalf of Major League Baseball, got tickets for Noah and his family and the donated money was used to buy World Series tickets for other children with cancer.

Noah’s generosity and courage attracted national attention. It also attracted the attention of Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who exchanged text messages with Noah last fall and into the current season.

Their friendship helped Noah forget about chemotherapy and radiation, especially when Hosmer came to visit him at the hospital.

“I went to the hospital to meet Eric Hosmer,” he said. “Not to get any pokes or anything. To meet Eric Hosmer.”

Noah said his dream was to play for the Royals someday.

After learning of Noah’s death, Hosmer tweeted, “Wow. It absolutely kills me to say this, but rest in peace to my hero, Noah Wilson.”

On the team account, the Royals tweeted, “Our hearts are broken. Thoughts and prayers to the family of our bravest little Royals fan.”

The Royals said they will honor Noah by collecting fun and colorful Band-Aids at the Royals Charities office at Kauffman Stadium during this weekend’s games.

Former Royals player Billy Butler tweeted from Oakland, “RIP Noah Wilson from KC! You fought hard, little man and we will continue to fight against childhood cancer in honor of you.”

Noah’s family posted a message on the Facebook page set up for him.

“He is forever wrapped in the loving arms of his lord and savior, Jesus Christ,” the message said. “No more pain. No more cancer. Just peace.”

A friend has created a crowdfunding page to help the family pay burial expenses.

The family issued the following statement about burial plans:

“We would love to have you join us for the following services to remember Noah’s life,” the statement said. “We encourage everyone to wear something blue, as that was his favorite color.”

Visitation will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 5501 Monticello Road in Shawnee from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday July 5 with a rosary at 8 p.m.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for Monday, July 6 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at 13615 W. 92nd St. in Lenexa. A burial service will follow.

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