Young boy celebrates Christmas early, possibly his last

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LEBO, Kan. (WIBW) -- Last Sunday was Christmas Day in the small Coffey County, Kansas town of Lebo.

There, the entire community unpacked their Christmas lights and decorations for the special day.

Santa Claus didn’t have to check his list, or even twice, because he knew who he was visiting that Sunday was especially nice.

He made a special stop to Lebo with gifts in hand for 3-year-old Christian Risner, who is diagnosed with Rhabdoid kidney cancer. He was given about three months to live, according to doctors last month.

“We got to where we were about two months away to being done with the treatments, and it metastasized into his lungs,” said Christian’s father, Josh Risner.

The family said there were treatments to prolong his life, but they wanted him to experience being a kid, away from the hospital.

“We wanted him to be like this: with hair, no N.G. tube, living a normal 3-year-old’s life. Enjoying time with his family,” Risner explained.

When the community found out the diagnosis, that’s when they kicked into action. Kelly Freund started working on Christmas for Christian, and it grew. Businesses were donating items for the silent actions. Homes started to glow with Christmas lights. People came together to help the family.

After last Sunday’s silent auction, horse-drawn carriage ride to see all the lights and a community meal for everyone, the family couldn’t be more grateful.

“It blows my mind. When he got sick, this community, it helped out tremendously,” he explained.

And the community said they did it with hope in their hearts, that there will be a Christmas miracle.

All the money raised from the silent auction will go to the family to help pay medical expenses. Monetary donations can be sent to Farmers State Bank of Aliceville, P.O. Box 66, Lebo KS 66856

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