Lafayette family brings awareness to childhood cancer with a holiday twist

Courtney Griffith and her family put a twist on the classic Christmas movie, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by creating a “How the Grinch Stole Childhood Cancer” float

Posted: Dec. 3, 2018 6:39 PM
Updated: Dec. 3, 2018 6:40 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Many people were upset about the cancellation of the Christmas parade this year, but one local family wasn't going to let that stop them from getting out an important message.

Courtney Griffith and her family put a twist on the classic Christmas movie, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by creating a “How the Grinch Stole Childhood Cancer” float for the Christmas parade.

“It just kinda came to me one day, the Grinch steals Christmas so why can't he steal cancer with raising money for childhood cancer,” said Griffith.

Earlier this year, Griffith's son Landyn died from a rare, incurable cancer. As the family heads into their first Christmas without him, they wanted to create a float would honor him. They didn't let the cancelled parade stop them.

"I didn't want all of our hard work to go to waste so we just decided that we would go out to Armstrong, which is where Landyn played baseball for his entire life and we thought we'd get some hot-cocoa and some snacks and have everybody come out and view it," said Griffith.

The family displayed the float from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 2. Family, community members and the Purdue baseball team attended the event.

“You’re always, I guess, scared that people are going to forget your child and everything that they’ve gone through because there’s always another story, so to see everybody start coming out and everybody just talking and listening to music and just walking around viewing the float,  it’s an awesome feeling,” said Griffith.

Griffith said Landyn loved baseball and was able to meet the Purdue team before he passed, so she was especially excited when they came to support the cause.

“They were apart of our lives two days prior to Landyn passing away and they have done so much for us and they continue to,” said Griffith. “They all wanted to come out. I hear they missed some study hall to come out so I think that’s really amazing, they all decided as a team that they wanted to come out,” added Griffith.

The float was not only designed to play off the theme of Landyn's favorite Christmas movie but it also honors other kids battling cancer.

“Childhood cancer isn't rare like everybody thinks that it is, so we got pictures of other children who have either battled cancer, passed away with cancer or are still battling to this day and we have those in ornaments and they're all around the trailer and on the Christmas tree,” said Griffith.

Griffith said her whole family took part in constructing the float including her father-in-law Bob Scott. He said nothing will stop them from bringing awareness to cancer and remembering Landyn's name.

“We're not gonna let the high winds stop us, we're not gonna let the town stop us, where gonna keep doing what we can to get it out there,” said Griffith.

The Griffith family created "How the Grinch Stole Childhood Cancer" sweatshirts. 100% of the proceeds will go to Riley Hospital for Children for cancer research.

You can purchase a sweatshirt through the #TEAMLANDYN Facebook page here.

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