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The name Kelson paid tribute to two Loveland family members, Nelson and Kelly. When his parents named him, they had no way of knowing how fitting his name would be. They soon learned there was a very similar nautical word, keelson, a structure added to a ship to strengthen its framework. As Kelson got older, everyone who knew him marveled at his added strength.

Kelson faced significant health challenges from the day he was born. He began having seizures at four weeks old, which forced him to spend twelve weeks in neonatal intensive care. At six months old, he was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. That was followed by scoliosis, neuropathy, hydrocephalus, and a host of other medical complications. Poor Kelson couldn’t get a break.

Despite all of the bad medical news, Kelson had a smile that could light up the world and taught himself how to communicate by clapping. He started to improve when he was six years old. But soon, he faced his biggest challenge, a brain tumor called a pilocytic astrocytoma. Despite treatment, the tumor continued to grow. As his health deteriorated, his family was forced to stop treatment in 2019. Kelson passed away on May 5, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Before he passed, his family made a promise to him – to honor his life in every way they were able and to live their lives in a way that would make him proud. Throughout his (almost) nine years, Kelson’s life was deeply enriched by compassion and kindness their family will never forget.
There are three ways his family honors Kelson’s life.

Kelson’s Curtains
When Kelson began treatment on the Aflac floor at CHOA, Kelson’s mom, Becky, explained that the windows to the hallway were very large and let in a lot of light, making it hard to sleep. Says Becky, “At first, I tried taping up a medical pad with an entire roll of paper tape, which fell down as soon as I fell asleep.” Now, the Loveland family and a team of volunteers make them out of bright, cheerful flannel and deliver Kelson’s Curtains to other families fighting cancer.

Seven Days of Kelson’s Kindness
“For the seven days leading up to his birthday, we host a kindness campaign and encourage others to spread kindness in Kelson’s memory,” Becky explained. “Kelson’s sister came up with the idea when we were trying to decide how to celebrate his first birthday without him, and it has been the perfect way to honor him.”

Bub’s Run
“I’ve been a runner all my life, so it was an easy decision to host a 5k to honor Kelson’s memory,” Becky said. “The first Bub’s Run was held in our neighborhood on May 8, 2021, which was a year after Kelson’s passing. We just sent notes to family and friends, expecting a small group to show up, but nearly 80 people did and we raised $8000 for MUST Ministries. Since then, Bub’s Run has grown each year and raised nearly $100,000 in three years for various organizations that impacted Kelson’s life.


CURE is the beneficiary of Bub’s Run this year. To learn more about Kelson and his “Added Strength,” join Kelson’s family on Saturday, May 4, at North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw. For more information and to sign up, visit