Unsung Hero: Early Trick-or-Treating

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By Ashley Smith
By Josue

JACKSON COUNTY -- Karsen Holder likes to play with toys, color, and hangout with his friends. He especially likes candy.

"Trick-or-treating because you get more candy," said Karsen.

He looks like your average, healthy six-year-old. But Karsen has a birth defect that has required frequent hospital visits since birth. Two weeks ago doctors finally figured out that he had a mass on his kidney that needed to be removed. Karsen's surgery was scheduled for October 30th. He was going to miss trick-or-treating.

"I love our community, I love how we all pull together for someone who needs some help," said Anita Skobel.

"I got a text from Anita that said 'I hope you don't mind but I have this whole list of people set up that will let him trick-or-treat.'" said Karsen's mom Nichole Tripp, "We went to so many houses we didn't even get to finish everybody that said they would help us."

Thanks to Anita and others in Elkville, Karsen spent three hours going to friends and families homes as well as Casey's and the fire department.

Karsen's friend and Anita's granddaughter, Bridgett says she was happy to give Karsen candy when he came to her house.

"He was really happy he got to go trick-or-treating," said Bridgett Elder.

Even though Karsen really likes candy, he was willing to share.

"He said 'well, what are all of the other kids going to get because I'm pretty sure I got all of the candy,'" remembers Nichole.

"Karsen was thinking of the other kids too because he was going to take that candy with him to the hospital," said Anita.

Hospital rules prevented Karsen from bringing candy to his new friends. but they were able to have fun after surgery and celebrate the holiday.

"They had a parade where they handed out toys and they had the play room where you could paint pumpkins," said Karsen.

Unfortunately this won't be Karsen's last time in the hospital. This little boy has the support of loved ones and strangers.

"He's a strong little boy, and he's gonna be ok," said Anita.

"It really means a lot," expressed Nichole, "I don't have words to say it's an awesome feeling. Karsen is a very popular little kid and he's had a lot of people really pull for him."

Doctors are hopeful that the surgery will cure Karsen's illness. They will monitor him for a while to make sure they found the source of the problem.
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