Tulsa Boy Remembered For Strength, Love Of Others
TULSA, Oklahoma - December 25, 2018, was the first Christmas for one Tulsa family without their young boy named Buddy. The family has taken action to help Buddy Meade's name live on.
Buddy Meade was just like any other boy.
"He loved to ride bikes - anything outdoor related," said John Ford, Buddy's uncle. "He was not afraid; he was thrill seeker."
But at 6 years old, life changed for Buddy. He was diagnosed with ALL cancer, or acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
"It was a wake up call for us."
Buddy stayed positive.
"He never complained, never, even at his worse hour he never complained," said his grandmother, Connie Ray.
"Anytime you ask him how he's doing how you feel, he said 'I'm doing good How do you feel?' So, we learned to care about people," she said.
A Tulsa native, Buddy had to receive treatment in OKC using a procedure to get a bone marrow transplant that was experimental. He was the first to survive using the treatment. During his time, he formed a bond with plenty of OU players and coaches. One of his favorites: Bob Stoops.
"He spent last Christmas with Buddy," Ford said. "It's on pause, till coach gets up there, but Buddy's leading the series in Uno. Buddy was an Uno King. Buddy's beating Coach Stoops 2-1."
Buddy was one of the first to beat cancer, but two years and two days later, it relapsed. This time it was ALM or acute myeloid leukemia, a much more aggressive form of cancer. Buddy passed away in March of this year.
"Holiday's not going to be the same anymore; they say when you got a kid with cancer your life changes," said Buddy's mother, Louisa Meade.
"I'm not celebrating Christmas. I'm not celebrating a holiday ever again."
"He fought harder than any man," said John Ford, Buddy's uncle. "He was as much a steward and ambassador for cancer awareness."
Through the pain, the family decided they couldn't sleep without helping other families because they knew how it felt for them.
So they're in the process of starting the Buddy Strong Leukemia Foundation to help families with "meals, transportation sanity - we're wanting to help bridge that gap."
They're halfway through the paper work and plan to start small - and they've asked Bob Stoops to be on the board. But their mission this holiday season is to do it for Buddy.
"He's definitely helping other people through his legacy," Ford said.
"He's very much a part of our every day lives even though he's not here."