Boy asks Santa to ‘take Grandma’s cancer away’
HILO (AP) — A 6-year-old Big Island boy’s moving letter to Santa Claus asking the jolly figure to remove his grandmother’s cancer and to bring them a few new things did not go unanswered. Xaymien Kela also asked Santa for “a new bed for us” and “snorkeling gear for a kid.” Xaymien got most of the things he asked for. He and his grandmother, Jacqueline Goldstein, were surprised Wednesday with two brand-new twin beds and snorkel gear from 7-Eleven and HomeWorld Furniture. Xaymien sent his letter to Santa at the Hilo 7-Eleven store as part of a program designed to bring cheer to kids and their families during the holidays, said Camille Wong, a digital media coordinator at 7-Eleven. Goldstein has been receiving treatment for colon cancer at Hilo’s Hawaii Pacific Oncology Center, a Hilo Medical Center facility. Staffers from the Hilo Medical Center Foundation were among those watching Xaymien dig into his new gifts last week. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,” Xaymien shouted. “Yay! I love everything!” “The compassion and care you showed for Grandma really shined through in your letter to Santa,” Wong told him. Xaymien’s letter was chosen from 478 received by 7-Eleven stores statewide. His first wish, helping his grandmother, is one of the most important priorities in Xaymien’s life. “He’s a good boy, you know,” Goldstein said. “He does a lot for me — sometimes he thinks not enough — but he does a lot.” Xaymien cleans, cooks with the microwave, helps to take care of his grandmother and consistently checks how she is feeling. “He really takes care of her and looks out for her,” said Lisa Rantz, executive director of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation, where the gifts were stored. Goldstein and Xaymien visited the Oncology Center so officials could announce that, in addition to gifts for the family from the foundation and HomeWorld, a $500 donation is being made by 7-Eleven to the cancer center in their name.