CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV ) - Jumping back into thousands of emails from the past two weeks and see one from Daniel Chapman's mom, Katrina. Her words stop everything. It was an obituary for her son.
Daniel - who went by "Brother" - was one of the twelve children who came to our first annual #MollysKids Christmas party last December. He showed up with his parents and siblings, honored to take part in this celebration. We've followed Brother's journey for a long time and the party was in part for him, as someone we've come to know and love. I am crushed to see Katrina's note.
"Daniel, our firstborn… our sunshine, Angel, brother, grandson, friend, God's child and one of your #MollysKids… died May 21st," she wrote. "It feels like a lifetime already. I can't wrap my head around it. I want to wake up and hold my boy. Our hearts ache, but we do know he is no longer suffering. I just wanted you to know he's now in his Perfect Body."
The Chapman family lives in Hudson in Caldwell County. Katrina said she and her husband, Daniel Senior, were holding Brother's hands when he passed.
"Our son possessed strength, stubbornness and a determination to overcome incredible odds and physical challenges," Katrina said. "He had courage. His led us to believe each day is a blessing to create lasting memories. He could spend hours playing with his stuffed animals and his smile was contagious. He'd love if we let him sit shotgun in the car so he could change the radio stations to a song he wanted and he could dance in the seat."
She ended her note with, "Thank you for caring for our boy."
No, Katrina. With all due respect you have it a little backwards. It's thanks to you and Daniel for sharing your boy with us.
I went back through all the photos from December to find this one. His happiness, and that contagious smile you talked about, shines through brightly.
**Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it's written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.**