AuSABLE FORKS — Time ran out for a little boy waiting for an intestinal transplant.
Martial Chamberland, 4, died Saturday at New York Presbyterian Children’s Hospital in New York City.
”He fought,” said Kristina Dukett, who was Martial’s child-care provider at Kids Way Daycare in Keeseville. “No matter how tired or sick he was ... he’d get right back up (and go about his day).
A benefit planned to help Martial’s family with funeral expenses will still go on, as the need continues, she said.
And, Dukett said, “it’s about celebrating his life.”
The event, set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the American Legion home in AuSable Forks, had been called Helping Hands 4 Martial.
It is now Helping Hands 4 Martial’s Family.
Martial, the son of Patrisha L. Howerton and Cody M. Chamberland, was born March 2, 2008, with gastroschisis, a kind of hernia in which the intestines push through a hole in the abdominal wall.
He was awaiting a transplant.
”We were praying for October,” Dukett said.
But he died of complications before that could happen.
”It is devastating,” she said. “I only had him (at the day care) for six months, but he totally impacted me more than anybody I ever cared for.
”The smile on his face ...”
The fundraiser will offer meals for $7 — two michigans, cole slaw, baked beans and a cookie — with a children’s meal at a reduced price.
The band Castaways will perform, and deejay Mike Mussen will keep the music going.
A live auction at 6 p.m. offers up items that include a kayak, tandem bike, Adirondack chairs and many gift certificates to local places.
Also up for grabs is an overnight stay in Schenectady with tickets to the musical “Wicked” at Proctors Theatre there.
Prizes for raffles at the event include a basket of cheer and a quilt donated by Lora Barshow. Tickets will be sold for a 50-50 raffle, too.
Earlier in the day, a 5K Beer Run will kick off, with 8:30 a.m. registration at the Hollywood Theater.
MESSAGES OF SYMPATHY
Dukett expressed thanks to all who already gave donations to Helping Hands for Martial. At the upcoming event, she had planned to invite participants to write fun and hopeful messages for the child on paper cutouts of hands.
Instead, those hands, intended for Martial’s mother, will now express sympathy and remembrance, she said.
Dukett, trying to be sensitive to the the family’s grief, said she talked with Martial’s mom about whether to go on with the fundraiser. Howerton told her she wants the celebration of her son’s life to go on.
”In her words,” Dukett said, “‘I want to give him the best he deserves.’”
To learn more, reach her at 834-9880 or 534-4898 or via email at email@example.com.
Donations, made out to Patrisha Howerton, may be mailed to: Kristina Duquett, 214 Green St., Keeseville, NY 12944. Or they can be sent to Hamilton Funeral Home, 124 Clinton St., Keeseville NY 12944.
Email Suzanne Moore: