- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2016

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) - He’s collected so many aluminum can pull tabs he could literally bury himself in a kiddie pool full of them - and that’s just what Grayson Chapeau, 6, of Spearfish, did when he recently collected 160 pounds, exceeding his goal to collect 150 pounds. The amount that he and his dad, Jeremiah, delivered to the Upper Minneapolis Ronal McDonald House in Minneapolis this week, though, was nearly triple that original goal: More than 420 pounds were collected for their most recent donation.

“It is awesome,” Jeremiah said.

Grayson, diagnosed in 2014 with an inoperable, cancerous brain tumor called astrocytoma, underwent intense treatment including radiation and chemotherapy and is currently taking an experimental targeting drug, which he takes daily, the Black Hills Pioneer (https://bit.ly/2drlsIN ) reported. Jeremiah said that Grayson is continuing to do very well, and when the family must travel to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis for checkups, Grayson delivers aluminum can pull tabs to the nearby Upper Minneapolis Ronald McDonald House.

These aluminum can pull tabs raise funds for the nonprofit, which provides a nearby “home-away-from-home” at little or no cost for families with a hospitalized child. The vision of the Ronald McDonald House is to “create a world where children have access to quality health care and their families are able to better comfort and support them while actively participating in their care.”

Jeremiah said that Grayson will keep collecting and delivering the tabs during the periodic trips to Minneapolis, and the family encouraged everyone to get involved. There are collection containers at Spearfish Regional Hospital, Spearfish McDonald’s Spearfish Hospital, Spearfish McDonald, Spearfish Eye Care, All About Potential Chiropractic, Spearfish Middle School - the Chapeaus even had a “trunkful” of tabs delivered to their house.

“Everybody’s kind of spreading the word, so it’s kind of been a community effort,” Jeremiah said. “It’s been very cool.”

People can find updates and more information at the “Prayers for Grayson Chapeau” Facebook page, which describes Grayson as “an incredible superhero during this 21 month journey . He has endured all appointments, treatments and medication with an attitude of joy. He has taught us how to be brave, courageous and how to be joyful in all circumstances. He is our real-life Superhero!”

And the family acknowledged their gratitude to friends, family, and everyone who has supported Grayson and their family during the journey.

“We just want to say thanks to the community,” Jeremiah said. “We live in an awesome community, and we appreciate all the support that we’ve gotten. . It means a lot to us.”


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, https://www.bhpioneer.com

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