Posted on December 30, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Tuesday, Dec 31 at 12:16 AM
BUCKLEY, Wash. - For Hailey Haulet, worry has outweighed any kind of holiday joy because her 15-year-old brother, Brady Carroll, has been in the hospital.
"I miss my brother," she sobbed. "He has been fighting for every second of his life for the last two-and-a-half weeks."
Doctors discovered a tumor in Brady's lung, and when they went to remove it they found it had spread, according to Haulet.
Since the cost of caring for him will likely exceed what insurance covers, members of Brady's tight-knit community of Buckley decided to help.
Inside a local convenience store they put out a donation jar with Brady's name and details about his health condition.
On December 18th, Vicki Chacon was working when a couple came into the store. While a young woman asked her a question, a young man grabbed the donation jar and left, according to Chacon.
By the time she realized what had happened the pair was long gone, but Chacon was able to share surveillance footage on Facebook. The images caught on camera quickly spread.
"My post received 129 shares," said Chacon. "I had over 40 people tell me who it was."
Community pressure began to build, and it appears the thieves had a change of heart.
"The couple wrote a letter of apology, and basically admitted to doing it," said Chacon.
The letter, received days ago, also included the stolen cash and a small donation.
The community continues to focus on Brady's health and his family.
"While we were opening our presents and having dinner with our families, they were sitting at the hospital by Brady's bedside, not knowing whether he was going to live," said Buckley resident Misty Heath.
Heath is among a group of volunteers planning a benefit dinner to raise money for Brady on February 1.
Learn more about Brady's battle and how his community is trying to help