If you think it’s too early for Christmas decorations, you haven’t met the McClendons.
Seven-year-old Kayleigh McClendon has been fighting for her life since the day of her 7th birthday, when she was diagnosed with brain cancer.
This week, nurses informed the Hartselle, Alabama, family that time may be running out for Kayleigh.
“This particular week, we were given some news from the nurses. Basically, they don’t know how long she has to live.
Following the news, McClendon put Christmas decorations up early at the request of his daughter. And since purple is Kayleigh’s favorite color, he only strung up purple lights and decorations.
Upon hearing the news of Kayleigh’s prognosis, neighbor Melissa Miller offered to help. They told her she could put up purple lights like they had— for Kayleigh. And Miller did just that.
Soon, the entire neighborhood was lighting up in purple.
A Facebook page for Kayleigh’s fight explains how word spread, writing in part:
“Since Kayleigh’s favorite color is purple we decided to buy purple Christmas lights to decorate the outside of the house. And since we already have our tree up at Kayleigh’s request, Tim decided to go ahead and start putting her exterior lights up too. I rarely get even a moment to leave Kayleigh’s side. She doesn’t even like it when I take a bathroom break, but tonight I snuck out so I could check out Tim’s handiwork. It looked great, but what else do I see when I go outside? I see purple lights up and down the street. Our neighbors have changed out their light bulbs and used purple spotlights to make our street a ‘purple out.’”
And Tim McClendon knows what inspired their neighbors to do it— Kayleigh’s bravery:
“For a seven-year-old she’s been tough through all of it. Pokes and prods and tests, and she did every single MRI and CT without sedation. And even for adults, that’s a huge deal. It blows me away, the [support] we’ve had around us.”
Nearly every house on the block has purple lights now. McClendon says it’s left quite an impression:
“I think they’ll know, before they get here, they’ll know, OK, we’re on Kayleigh’s street.”
While Kayleigh has felt too sick to go outside and see the newly purple town in all its glory, Tim McClendon says she caught a glimpse of them through the window— and was elated.
It’s the Purple Christmas Kayleigh McClendon has always wanted.