DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Whyatt Yarnell battled cancer three times during his seven years of life. His family and community came together to help him continue to be a kid all the way until the end.
Yarnell could put a smile on anyone’s face. His presence impacted people everywhere.
“He really knew no stranger,” said Yarnell’s grandmother Christine Blassi. “He touched so many lives, and it wasn’t just our family’s loss. It was everybody’s loss.”
When Yarnell’s family got the news that he was sick, his grandmother said the hospital stepped up.
“St. Louis Hospital kind of set the mood,” Blassi said. “Regardless of the fact it’s cancer, they still let him be a little boy.”
After that, Yarnell’s family made it their goal to allow him to experience as much as he could – a final bucket list. They were able to set everything from a truck convoy to going on the field at a St. Louis Cardinals game, all thanks to different organizations.
Even though he has passed away, Yarnell’s family said they are going to continue fighting for other kids.
“We’re going to make awareness of how little research is out there for pediatric cancer,” Blassi said. “It’s like only four percent and it’s the number-one killer of children.”
One way they plan to continue to bring awareness is through a softball tournament called Wyatt’s Warriors that they started when he first got sick. The family also started a petition asking for more federal funding to go to childhood cancer research.