Most kids look forward to receiving presents on their birthday, but when he was just six years old, Kai Martin made a decision that would impact the number of gifts he’d receive for his next 10 birthdays.
The now teenager from Arizona wanted donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society rather than gifts for himself. Since his sixth birthday he’s received more than $32,000 in donations, according to 12News.
Kai got the idea when he was five years old after his stepfather Jared Bodnar had a scare with blood cancer. Jared’s mother and Kai’s paternal grandfather also had blood cancer and both died from the disease.
Thankfully, his stepfather was okay, but it scared Kai and he asked his mom Shannon Bodnar what he could do to help. He began to learn all he could about cancer and then decided he would raise money for cancer research, and he would start on his sixth birthday.
“My first year my goal was $100 because that was about the biggest number I could think of,” he said.
He ended up increasing his goal to $106, but by the time he counted his donations, he had collected $500. It inspired him to keep going. So every year for the next 10 years he informed his friends and family to donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society rather than give him gifts.
“If donating to cancer research can help other families not have to deal with what I had to deal with, then that makes a huge difference. That’s the main reason I do it,” he said.
While 10 years has now passed and Kai has just recently turned 15 years old, he’s still collecting donations through GoFundMe.