COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus mother of two was given a big boost of support from a stranger who wanted to help her with her son's fight against cancer.
In a post on Facebook that chronicles her son, Saraj King's, fight against Stage III melanoma, Sarah King Kemp wrote on Dec. 18 that her struggles to travel more than 100 miles to get her son's treatments have been aided greatly by a stranger's gift.
Kemp has been unable to work since her son's diagnosis in July 2015. His treatment began soon thereafter, but the trips back and forth to Egleston-Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, three surgeries and chemotherapy have put a financial strain on the family.
Kemp said the discovery of a mole on Saraj's back was the beginning of his journey.
"Please get your children checked at the dermatologist at least twice a year. One mole turned into a life-threatening cancer," Kemp said.
But Saraj's spirit, and their faith, has kept the family upbeat. The 8-year-old with a great smile even manages to stay positive while receiving chemo treatments. He also has his 4-year-old sister Joshlyn to keep him occupied.
"His first two weeks of chemo were real rough but after that his body starting adjusting to the medicine. He is [a] super hero for sure," Kemp said of her son.
His cancer was diagnosed at Stage III - which means that it's not just in the skin, and has spread to his lymph nodes. If his cancer spreads to other major organs, like his lungs, it will become Stage IV metastatic melanoma, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation.
'It's easier to beat if found at an early stage. Unfortunately, we are in a race for time since his was found at Stage III," Kemp said. "His chances of survival are [at] 45 percent...but we are not hearing that. We will overcome this."
But Kemp says her son is truly her superhero - even before his diagnosis, he was always her J-Man.
This stranger's generosity began innocently: A man named Harvey Moore overheard a conversation that Kemp's mother was having with someone else, and felt compelled to do something about it.
"He needs to be recognized for his generosity," Kemp said. "My family and I have been going through it since my son was diagnosed with this aggressive nasty cancer."
Kemp said the unexpected gift came just in time: just three days before Saraj's appointments to begin smaller doses of chemo, the transmission in the family's Ford F-150 completely gave out.
"He said his parents recently passed on and left a little something for him. He overheard my momma telling my friend in the Piggly Wiggly about my troubles, and without saying a word to anyone left out [of] the store," Kemp said. "In his mind he said he had made up he was going to help me."
Kemp said Moore purchased the SUV from another cancer patient who needed the money for their cancer treatments. On Dec. 18, Kemp, her children and two others met Harvey at the Piggly Wiggly on River Rd. - and did not know what to expect.
"He tells me that he was recently blessed and had to pay it forward," Kemp continued. "This man named Harvey, without knowing me, went and bought us a Ford Explorer and handed me the keys!"
It's the type of compassion that really makes the holidays special for a young family trying to kick cancer into remission. But Kemp says the generosity of others isn't new to their family. She also spoke very highly of Saraj's teacher, Lindsay Luther, at Johnson Elementary School. Luther started a GoFundMe page for the family.
"My son's teacher deserves the gold apple award for all her hard work," Kemp said. "She has been my backbone through it all. He attends Johnson Elementary. It's a wonderful school!"
Mobile users: You can view a slideshow of Saraj's cancer fight by clicking here.