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The Gift

todayMay 24, 2024 2

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BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been nearly four months since a young boy from Brandon died of cancer.

We were lucky enough to be invited to follow along on his personal journey for the last few months of his young life.

Because of that our viewers to got to know Spencer Thorsland on a personal basis and got to see how he inspired others.

Even though Spencer is no longer with us, he’s still changing lives.

One look into his eyes and you could see there was something special about Spencer Thorsland.

Throughout his battle with cancer, Spencer continued to remain positive around family and friends.

“It’s been a whirlwind you know,” Lori Huml said.

Spencer’s mom, Lori, draws on Spencer’s strength.

“We are all going through the grieving process in a different way, but then we are also having to continue with life as well,” Laurie said.

And that hasn’t been easy.

“Actually I find myself thinking about him more now than I did at the very beginning at the beginning I felt relieved that he wasn’t sick anymore and now my memories are more of him not being sick,” Laurie said.

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One of his brothers, 10-year-old Ranger, thinks about Spencer a lot, too, and wanted to talk to us about his older brother.

It didn’t take long for his eyes to well up in tears when he told us he really misses him.

So we asked him, if there’s one thing you could ask Spencer right now what would it be?

“What is heaven like,” Ranger asked.

What is heaven like? Even though it’s been about four months, the pain and emotions are still raw and sometimes hard to even think about.

But Laurie says talking about Spencer and sharing memories has helped ease some of that pain.

There’s something else that brings them comfort.

“When he passed away, we made the decision to see if there was anything that could be donated that could help other people,” Lori said.

Lori says Spencer’s corneas were donated to others to help them see again.

She recently received a couple of letters thanking them for Spencer’s gift.

“When you think of a hero, you may have an image of a super hero or sports figure; however, a true hero is an every day person that makes a difference in the world and in the lives of others,” Lori said.

And that was Spencer.

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This letter was addressed to them personally from the recipient in North Dakota.

“She wrote ‘thank you for giving me the gift of sight through the donation of your loved one’s cornea the second day after surgery I noticed a whole new glorious world out my window,” Lori said.

Lori says that letter touches her heart. She hopes they’ll be able to meet her one day.

Dave, Spencer’s bonus dad, gets emotional just thinking about that gift.

“Yep, that would be kind of interesting to look into somebody’s eyes and know that Spencer is still part of it and affecting people in a positive way and in a good way,” Dave said.

Spencer is still inspiring his friends.

When our cameras were rolling, a couple of his friends stopped by to give Dave and Lori something they had created.

They mixed flowers from Spencer’s funeral together with wax to make memorial candles.

“It’s beautiful oh my goodness”

His friends also knew Spencer was a huge Star Wars fan.

“One of the last times I saw Spencer we went lego shopping I got this with him,”

The two never got a chance to put it together.

“So nice of you guys to do this,” Lori said.

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So they finished it and put it on one of the shelves in Spencer’s room that still looks pretty much the same way it did when he died.

Looking back, Spencer’s life, that was cut way too short, was still filled with so many memories; like the time when the Make A Wish Foundation moved Spencer up the list, so he could fulfill one of his wishes to see Disney World before he died.

And now that Spencer’s corneas have been donated to help others, Laurie and Dave are now eyeing opportunities to give back as well.

“As were trying to figure out where to go with that; being able to give back to places like Make a Wish and Sanford Children’s Hospital for all the work they did and the Mayo Clinic and foundations that helped us, we want to be able to be a part of that,” Lori said.

Whatever they decide, Spencer will have their back, because before he died, he left them this gift; a short letter that reads ‘I am with you and will watch over you, wherever you go, love Spencer.

Lori and Dave have started a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish South Dakota and Montana where they hope to raise $5,000 to donate to the non-profit.

To donate, click here.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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