Emily, meet Keith. Keith, meet Emily.

February 12, 2016 by


Talk about an unlikely story with a happy ending…

Just a little over a year ago, 4-year-old Keith Day was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer called Wilms’ tumor. As his treatment began at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Emily Brito of Bosque Farms, N.M., stopped by the Post Office in Concordia to buy stamps.

Emily, a candidate to become a Sister of St. Joseph, has spent a lot of time in Concordia over the past couple of years, both as a candidate and as the cousin of Sister Ramona Medina, one of the three founders of Neighbor to Neighbor.

And according to Sister Ramona, Brito sends numerous cards and letters every day, sending love and support to friends and strangers alike. So she buys a lot of stamps.

On that particular day a year ago at the Post Office, the man selling her the stamps was Leon Deaver, who is Keith’s grandfather. In the course of a brief conversation with the gregarious Emily, he told her about an upcoming fundraiser, and then more details about the sick little boy.

And, she says now, it just touched her heart.

When she returned to her home, Emily asked her parish to pray for Keith and his family — and she began sending cards to Leon and his wife Loleta, and to Keith. Every time she was in Concordia, she’d make sure she checked in with Leon at the Post Office to see how Keith was doing.

But she had never met the boy — until this morning.

Throughout Keith’s illness for the rare but very treatable cancer, he and his sister Ava have been regulars at the Neighbor to Neighbor “Reading with Friends” storytime. His grandmother Loleta has been there with him, even when he’d lost his hair to chemotherapy and had to wear a surgical mask to be around other children.

This morning, when Loleta, Keith and Ava arrived, the first thing they asked was if Emily was there — and she was.

“I never expected to meet him,” Emily said, still laughing with surprise. “I have a picture of him I keep on my desk, but I’d never actually seen him.”

Keith, now a healthy 5-year-old, just giggled.



2 Responses to “Emily, meet Keith. Keith, meet Emily.”

  1. Loretta Jasper on February 26th, 2016 7:18 am

    Connections…relationships…this is what living is all about. God remains the core!

  2. Sr.susan on February 12th, 2016 3:03 pm

    EMILY Is living the Sisters of St . Joseph Charism of love. She is a blessing to our Order. ♡♡

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