3-year-old Kansas boy honored with early Christmas dies of cancer

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LEBO, Kan. (KAKE) -

A 3-year-old Kansas boy who has been battling cancer for more than a year died over the weekend, about two months after people in his hometown celebrated Christmas early to honor the child. 

KTKA reports Christian Risner, of Lebo, was placed in hospice care in August and died Saturday morning. He was diagnosed with Rhabdoid kidney cancer in the spring of 2016.

He loved Christmas, so the town of about 940 people put on a special celebration Sept. 10, with Santa, a horse-drawn sleigh and homes throughout the town decorated for the holiday.   

Kelly Fruend organized the event.

“I wanted the family to be able to make some amazing memories with their son in the time that they have left and to enjoy it and look back and see good times,” she said.

The Jones-Vans Arsdale Funeral Home says his funeral will take place Saturday at Lebo High School, with visitation before the service.

He is survived by his parents, two brothers and paternal grandparents.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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A small Kansas community is celebrating Christmas early this year in honor of a 3-year-old boy with terminal cancer. 

Christian Risner, of Lebo, was diagnosed with Rhabdoid kidney cancer in the spring of 2016. KVOE reports that since then, the rare cancer has aggressively spread.

Christian placed in hospice care late last month. Wanting to ensure Christian's time left with his family is joyful, Lebo resident Kelly Freund has organized Christmas for Christian at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Lebo Baptist Church (map below).

Now, Lebo residents are decorating their homes with Christmas lights to create a festive time for Christian and his family.

Due to large number of people expected to attend Sunday's dinner, people are asked to bring a side dish or and/or a dessert. Those with questions can call Kelly Freund at (620) 794-7321.

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