Iowa boy, 11, who wanted casket decorated with racing stickers dies

Sept 10, 2018
  • By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

An 11-year-old Iowa boy suffering from leukemia who wanted to decorate his casket with racing stickers died Monday morning, KCCI reported.

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Caleb Hammond, of Oskaloosa, died at 2 a.m. Monday, his mother, Holly Kempf, wrote on Facebook. The boy was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2017, according to the Des Moines Register. Caleb went through several months of unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments and a bone marrow transplant, before he and his family decided to discontinue treatment, the newspaper reported.

Kempf wrote on Facebook Monday: "Our little Mr went peacefully in his sleep at 2:00 a.m. today surrounded by our families. Before I was woken up being told he was getting ready to pass, he was smiling at me while I was dreaming. With my hand on his chest, I felt his last breath and a few last heartbeats."

>> Boy dying from leukemia wants racing stickers for his casket

Caleb received hundreds of stickers from all over the country, including some from NASCAR and IndyCar drivers, WXIN reported. He also was given the chance to drive a race car on a dirt track and ride in a $3 million race car, KCCI reported. Ferrari dealer Garrett Hayim sent the race car, a driver and a racing suit to Iowa so Caleb could ride at the Iowa Speedway, the television station reported.

On Facebook, NASCAR Off-Track posted that the #TeamCaleb car decal will be run in the boy’s honor Monday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Twelve NASCAR race cars will honor Hammond today at IMS during the Xfinity race and Brickyard 400, WXIN reported.

Several NASCAR drivers and teams tweeted their condolences Monday.

Funeral services are pending, KCCI reported.