Most everyone knows who Holdyn Keefer is, but in case you don’t let me tell you a little about Holdyn. Holdyn is a 5-year old boy, who has leukemia. He is happy, he is so sassy and he always keeps me on my toes. I have the privilege of babysitting him when he is home from the hospital, and I love every second of it.
Before I actually met Holdyn, I would see his name on t-shirts, or on a Facebook page. I knew Holdyn as the 5-year old boy who has leukemia. I didn’t know Holdyn personally. Now when I think of Holdyn, I don’t think of the “5-year old boy with leukemia.” I think of him as the boy who has the kindest heart and the boy who never fails to make me laugh. Holdyn is so much more then leukemia.
When I first started babysitting Holdyn, man was he a challenge. He didn’t like me very well at first, but now I think he looks forward to seeing me, even if he doesn’t want to say it out loud. Holdyn was shy. He never talked much to me when I first started, but now he talks my ear off. I know his daily routine. When Sarah (his mother) leaves, he wants two cucumbers with the “green stuff” cut off them and a blue juice. We sit and watch “Sophia” or “Lab Rats” for an hour or so, then we play games, then more “Lab Rats.”
We sometimes go on walks. He rides his Batman three-wheeler and I walk beside him. He talks about how much he loves Batman and how they are best friends. He tells me all about his school work, and how much he enjoys cutting things. He has asked me multiple times if he could cut my hair. He comes up with the best games to play while we are at Cabell Huntington Hospital, too. He’s is so creative.
I have learned so much from Holdyn. I now know what kind of car Batman drives, what his backup car is; I know how much Holdyn loves bubbles, and playing Uno. He loves to have me read him books, and going “to Mexican.”
But I also learned how hard it must be to be Holdyn. I can’t imagine having to wear a hat, a mask, and wearing sunscreen every time I go outside. I can’t imagine having to go to the doctor once a week, or being admitted once a month. I can’t imagine having to go through any of these things he goes through. The spinal taps. The blood drawing. The chemotherapy. The things I can’t even imagine going through, his little body goes through.
But through each one of those trials he does it so much better then I would. I look up to a 5-year old, because he is so much stronger then I would be. He is so full of life, and laughter, and his smile is contagious. I love Holdyn with my whole heart, and I can’t wait to hear his testimony when he gets older. God has great things for Holdyn, and although he is going through a rough path, God knows exactly what is best for us.
Ansleigh McCoy lives in Point Pleasant and helps care for Holdyn Keefer. Keefer is the son of Travis and Sarah Keefer, who are both originally from Gallia County.