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In his final days, boy shared his wish for other children battling life-threatening illness

Ethan.
Ethan. (Courtesy of family of Ethan.)

Ethan was a typical 12-year-old boy: He loved video games, Legos and his dog, who is named Lego. That was, until he was diagnosed on July 30, 2020, with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.

There were tears, although courage immediately followed.

Ethan told everyone: “I’m going to do everything I can to fight this.”

Amid his battle, there was one way Ethan was able to hear from countless people who care, and it’s something he wanted others to know about. He wore a Caring Band -- a bracelet that connects to a free app that allowed him to get messages from people near and far.

The device was four years in the making, prior to Ethan’s battle.

Charley Donaldson, CEO and co-founder of Caring Band, a Woodlands, Texas, company, came up with the idea after his wife watched her mother battle cancer in 2016. She wanted her mom to know all the times she was thinking of her.

That desire is what led to the Caring Band.

“It’s a Bluetooth-connected wearable that connects to any smartphone, and as long as you have the Caring Band app, any time you receive an encouraging message on the app, that bracelet will pulse and light up, and let you know somebody is thinking about you at that very moment,” Donaldson said.

Patients can see and feel the love being shared with them in real time.

There are some go-to messages on the app that a sender can select, including:

  • You are loved.
  • Praying for you.
  • Thankful for you.
  • Thinking of you today.
  • Sending good vibes.

And there are more options, along with sending your own personalized message. Those messages appear in the recipient’s app, and the bracelet glows and vibrates to let the wearer know someone is sending them love and encouragement.

“Just knowing that someone is thinking about you or praying for you is huge,” Donaldson said.

The bands sell on the company’s website, but the business also donates to children battling life-threatening illnesses.

For Ethan’s family, the Caring Band and outpouring of love was a bright spot during a difficult time.


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At last check, Ethan had received more than 6,000 messages on his Caring Band.

His wish was that others facing illness could also feel love and support.

Ethan died In March of this year. Since then, Caring Band has fulfilled requests and donated more than 50 Caring Bands, all thanks to Ethan’s wish, and now his impact.

The company donates one Caring Band for each that is purchased. If you’d like to inquire about having a band donated for a child suffering a life-threatening illness, click or tap here.

You can also read the original story about Ethan and his journey on Click2Houston.com.


About the Author:

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.