Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

December 19, 2013

Colts carol for Greensburg boy

By Brent Brown
Greensburg Daily News

---- — INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts have given their fans plenty to cheer about this season.

En route to a second consecutive playoff appearance, Luck and several teammates stopped by Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis Tuesday to bring cheer of a different kind to numerous kids who may be spending Christmas morning in the hospital.

And that youthful audience, much as the case often is at Lucas Oil Stadium, was more than happy with the results.

Colts players and cheerleaders moved from room to room at the hospital taking song requests from the patients. The Colts carolers joined together in joyful noise for their own renditions of Christmas favorites, which brought smiles to the faces of the many young patients taking in the unexpected celebrity concert.

It was a Christmas gift that, to paraphrase Dr. Seuss’ Grinch, came without packages, ribbons, boxes or bags. And though a surprise performance such as this might not have made it into the Christmas lists of many children, the Colts undoubtedly created an indelible holiday memory.

To put it more simply, in the words of 8-year-old Kadyn Hogg, “It was cool.”

The Greensburg Elementary School third grader has spent the better part of three weeks in the care of Riley Hospital for Children following a recent Leukemia diagnosis. Tuesday’s unexpected visit resulted in an autographed football being presented to Kadyn by the caroling Colts who sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” – at the boy’s request.

It was the first Christmas song to come to mind for Kadyn, Grandmother Bonnie Collins said. The Colts’ performance drew rave reviews from Kadyn who described the athletes and cheerleaders as “very good singers.”

The cheery atmosphere comes on the heels of the completion of Kadyn’s first round of chemotherapy, which will be followed by four additional treatments in the coming weeks. Bonnie said Kadyn has had a “complicated health history,” but appears to have more energy of late. She acknowledged her grandson is anxious to return home.

Kadyn said he’s feeling well at this point and is excited at the prospect of being back in Greensburg on Christmas morning.

Grandma Bonnie, who shares guardianship of Kadyn with his other grandparents, Chris and Jill Schroeder, is hoping for the same, though the close family is presently remaining cautiously optimistic at the possibility.

“We’d like to look above and hope that He has plans that way [for bringing Kadyn home],” Grandpa Mark Collins, a member of Greensburg’s First Baptist Church, told the Daily News.

And though it is too early to tell where Kadyn and his many loving family members will spend Christmas this year, his loved ones are holding on to the glimmer of hope that they will all be home for the holidays.

The positive outlook shared by the Collins and Schroeder families has trickled down to the Greensburg boy battling leukemia this holiday season.

Grandma Jill was so overjoyed at hearing of the Colts’ gift to Kadyn that she notified the Daily News in the hopes of helping brighten the holidays for others this season by sharing their family’s story.

Jill and Chris are co-guardians of Kadyn’s siblings, Dylan and Audrey. Kadyn lives with Bonnie and Mark while his older brother and younger sister live with the Schroeders.

While being treated at Riley, Kadyn has occupied himself with a sizable smorgasbord of toys and games spread about his hospital room. As is the case with any eight-year-old boy, Kadyn enjoys building things with Legos and diving into virtual video game worlds on the hospital’s Xbox.

When asked if he had any special gift he’d like Santa to bring him this year, Kadyn’s mental inventory of the toys and games surrounding him almost certainly played a part in his response.

“No, I’ve actually got plenty of stuff from people,” the boy said cheerfully.

Bonnie Collins said Kadyn had mentioned wanting a basketball goal for Christmas, though the intrepid 8-year-old said he merely wants to be surprised.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise will be a traditional Christmas at home for Kadyn and family – a gift his relatives are praying for each day.

“We’re all trying to do our part and make sure that he gets well,” Mark said Tuesday. “We just thank everybody for their thoughts and prayers.”

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; brent.brown@greensburgdailynews.com