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Parents of ‘Mighty’ Mason continue to raise awareness for childhood cancer in honor of late son

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “Mighty Mason” Garvey captured the hearts of Hoosiers during his battle with cancer. It’s been a year since he lost that battle to embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. His parents, Kevin and Heather, are still surprised at the kind of impact he made.

“People just gravitated to him,” Heather said. “I don’t know, he just kind of had this kind of swag about him.”

“When you met him he made a difference in your life,” Kevin said. “He changed you. He made you better after being with him. He did it small, he did it in his own quirky way, but he had impact.”

Kevin and Heather know a lot of people got to see Mason’s relationship with Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II and the fun he got to have with his favorite sports teams. However, they shared that most had a look at the better days while behind the scenes it was a lot harder.

“Mason’s passing was very, very difficult,” Heather said. “He was in an extreme amount of pain and an extreme amount of agitation and that lasted for a very, very long time.”

“You get to the point where you know the end is close [and] you feel helpless and you really are looking for any answers, any kind of comfort,” Kevin said.

Through it all, a doctor and his team at Riley Hospital for Children were there every step of the way.

Dr. Adam Hill and the Palliative Care group became the family’s go-to contacts during their most difficult times, and the Garveys never needed more help than on June 25, 2020.

“They called that morning [and] I knew that he was in trouble, they were in distress,” Hill said. “Mason was uncomfortable, in pain as he was dying.”

Hill said as a man of faith, he felt like getting the call from the Garveys was no coincidence.

“Whatever I could to make any small difference in that moment and ended up spending all day out there in their home.”

Still, even he couldn’t prepare for the emotions that came when Mason died.

“When I left their home a little before 6 o’ clock I sat in my car and cried.”

Mason had a spirit that touched anyone who got close. In a short time, his parents watched him reached many.

“Mason in his nine years on earth made a bigger difference than most people will make in a lifetime,” Kevin said.

Only a few days after Mason took his last breath, Kevin and Heather figured out what they wanted to do to carry on Mason’s legacy.

“There had to be a reason that Mason went through this and we couldn’t just let that be the end of it,” Heather said.

Click here to learn about the Mighty Mason Fund that supports rhabdomyosarcoma research and stay tuned to learn about the Garveys’ new project with Riley Hospital for Children. Randall Newsome will have that story Thursday on “All Indiana.”