Child Battling Rare Cancer, Given Escort Back To Tahlequah Home


Friday, March 10th 2017, 8:26 pm



An Oklahoma child who's spent the past year calling a Tulsa hospital home is back at his real home.

They call him "Warrior Kai,” partly because he loves playing with swords.

“When the doctors would come in the room they would be handed a sword, and so he would grab his sword and fight with the doctors,” said Kai’s father, Gary McAlpin.

Gary said the main reason his son is known as a warrior is because he is a fighter who's been battling a rare form of cancer since last May.

“He has suffered more, and been through more pain, and been through more turmoil than any human being that I've ever known, and he's still fought through it and hasn't given up,” Gary said.

Kai wasn't even two years old when doctors diagnosed him with T-Cell Leukemia.

“It totally turns your life upside down,” Gary said.

For the past year, Kai's family has basically lived at St. Francis Children's Hospital.

“For him, this is just as much home as our home,” Gary said. “They've treated Kai just like he was part of the family.”

But Friday, Kai said goodbye to his hospital family to go back home to Tahlequah.

Law enforcement officers and bikers sent him off like a hero - they escorted him all the way home.

“It means the world to us,” Gary said.

The escort will be Kai's final ride; his doctors say Kai only has a few days left to fight.

Gary said, “We're just gonna do what we can do and love him all we can.”

But for Gary, the fight will never end. He'll pick up his son's sword and battle for more childhood cancer funding and research, and he'll do it with the heart of a warrior just like Kai.

“I will do everything in my power to change it for the rest of my life…for Kai and all those others continue to suffer,” he said.

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