Local nonprofit gives back to children fighting serious illness

by: Holly Maynard Updated:


MONROE, N.C. - Families of Charlotte-area children fighting serious illnesses received a gift from a local nonprofit.

A celebration was held Friday in Monroe and showed how far many of these families have come.

Joshua Baker's mother remembers less than a year ago, when her then-7-year-old started having severe headaches and balance issues.

 "When a doctor comes and tells you he needs to talk to you and he has someone for your child, you don't want to hear what he has to say," said mother Mary Becker.

Joshua had tumors on his brain and spine. He went through six months of chemotherapy.

He went to school when he could, despite challenges with his balance.

"My husband spent the whole year with him actually at school to help him from class to class, so they both passed first grade," Mary Becker said.

Hometown Heroes, a nonprofit made up of public safety and business owners who support sick children in Union and Mecklenburg counties, had a huge gift for 21 children. They gave $1,000 to each child to be used for medical bills or other expenses.

"We get more out of it than they do, and I'm sure they get plenty. There are some special folks here, special kids and special needs," said Donnie Dixon, president of Hometown Heroes.

Dixon told Eyewitness News all of these motorcycles and police cars were here for another reason too. Two of the kids who are now cancer-free got a huge escort back to school.

Channel 9 also received an update on Joshua Baker's health. Last month, his MRI showed all of his tumors were gone. His doctors will keep monitoring his progress for the next five years.