Wyatt Erber is an exceptional child – caring, giving and a man of his word.
Wyatt learned of a neighborhood, summer-long scavenger hunt and decided to participate. When he learned there was a $1000 prize, he had the money earmarked for an important cause. He told his mom he wanted to do this to help Cara. Wyatt’s mom, Noelle Erber, 40, didn’t have the heart to tell her son he might not win.
Much to her surprise, Wyatt did win. What did Wyatt say when he learned that he’d won the grand prize? He asked his mom how much chemotherapy the money would buy for Cara. His next move was to call Cara’s mom, Trisha Kielty to tell her the good news. She was incredulous at first and thought the boy was joking. When she spoke to Noelle and learned Wyatt had indeed won and was prepared to turn over every cent, she nearly dropped the phone.
Initially she was reluctant to accept such a generous gift from a child as was her husband. Noelle explained that this had been his goal all along and how much it meant to him to be able to contribute to the 2 year old neighbor girl’s care. The Kieltys gratefully accepted is gift.
Cara was diagnosed in May with leukemia and the close knit community rallied to support the family. Fund raisers, dinner-cooking schedules and turns mowing their lawn just fell into place. Wyatt witnessed it all and wanted to his part.
Wyatt is close friends with Cara’ older brother Connor also 8. The news of Cara’s illness made him want to help. The first thing he did was empty his piggybank and turn it over. Then he learned of the scavenger hunt sponsored by First Clover Leaf Bank in Edwardsville. By locating clues at local businesses throughout the summer, Wyatt was entertained and found a way to make a significant contribution.
Cara has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of leukemia experienced by kids and her doctors say she has a 90% of being cured. Miserable some days and happy others, the two-year-old has 2.5 years of treatments ahead.
The experience has changed the Kieltys. Before Cara’s illness and the response of their neighbors, they thought they were good, decent people. Seeing the outpouring of support from their neighbors, both Kieltys feel like they can be so much better and promise to be among the first to sign up to volunteer when their neighbors need help in the future.