Courtesy photo Malcolm Hemmer decorated a luminaria in honor of his grandfather for Relay for Life.
Editor’s note: This is the final in a series of stories about someone affected by cancer and who plans to participate in the annual Relay for Life event 6 p.m. Friday at New Houk Park in Clovis:
The kids at the Nazarene School on Norris Street are on a mission, one that concludes Friday night at American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life at Ned Houk Park.
The 4- and 5-year-olds in Miss Becky’s class sit at their desks, creating designs on white paper bags with brightly-colored markers. Miss Becky has already spoken to them about the importance of giving, and these children are doing what they can to help.
It’s the same scene in Miss Diana’s and Miss Deb’s classes. White bags are being covered with hearts, flowers, trees, groups of stick figure families, the sun, stars, a cross. A few of them feature names, but most look exactly as one might expect. It’s the world according to little kids.
One of them, Malcolm, stares at his project. He’s made a line of colorful flags that have somehow ended up … up-side-down.
Malcolm is upset but his Mom says he can do a new one; she has more paper bags at home to decorate.
This is important to Malcolm. He’s decorating a bag for his granddad, the guy he adored. The guy who knew Malcolm loved trains, so, in spite of having cancer and taking radiation treatments, he took his 3-year-old grandson on a train trip all the way from Fort Worth to New York and back.
They sang song such as “New York! New York!” and “Chicago” and Malcolm got to snooze in a sleeper car. They made memories Malcolm will treasure forever.
The colorful paper bags are some of the many luminarias that will be lighted at the 16th Annual Relay For Life of Clovis Friday evening, each one of them dedicated to someone who has battled cancer.
The Nazarene students’ luminarias are destined to decorate an area known as “Survivors Row.” Malcolm’s up-side-down flags will be among them.
Malcolm, who recently turned 5, asked for donations to Relay For Life instead of gifts for his birthday.
— Submitted by Dorothy Nelson. Malcolm is the son of C.J. and Clare Hemmer.