MERIDIAN, Idaho — Kendall Tolley has always loved life. The Meridian boy is one of seven kids, a part of a big happy family filled with so much love. In November, the Tolley family was dealt a devastating blow. Kendall was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor at the age of nine.
He had surgery and started treatment at St. Luke's Children's Hospital, but on Christmas weekend of 2022, he was transferred to Primary Children's Hospital in Utah. After spending three months undergoing more surgery and grueling treatments, his doctors and parents agreed it was time to bring him home to Idaho to spend the precious time he has left with his family.
Kendall has been surrounded by family and friends ever since. They are all part of Kendall's crew, and they have the t-shirts to prove it.
"We have so much support. Everybody just loves Kendall," his mom April Tolley said. "He's always been just a joy to be around."
Kendall loves the TV show Bluey, and as luck would have it, last month there was a Bluey show in Boise. He had the chance to have a private meet and greet with Bluey and the other characters from the show, thanks to the amazing staff at the Morrison Center in Boise. It was a memory to treasure for the Tolley family.
"I was just so tickled, they were so cute with him and he danced with Bluey," April Tolley said. "He was so sick on the way there and wanted to go home, but when he got there his face lit up, and he was just dancing with Bluey and he had the biggest smile on his face."
Last month, Kendall turned ten. The Tolley's wanted to give him the best tenth birthday party ever. His aunt, Megan Lightner, posted on Facebook asking for some special donations for a Bluey themed birthday party.
"We talked about how we wanted to have a special birthday for him, and I just put a simple post on Facebook just asking for people who would be willing to help make this day special for us," Megan Lightner said. "I had hundreds of people message me. They were willing to do anything for him, and we are so grateful for the many hands who helped make this party unforgettable for him."
When the day of the big party arrived, the Bluey themed birthday bash was more than they could have ever imagined. His big sister Calleigh was in awe.
"When we were walking in and everyone was standing there, I almost started crying it just means so much to us," Calleigh Tolley said.
Kendall was so excited to see all of his family and friends, so were his mom and dad.
"I could just see that so many people love him and love our family," April said.
"It was an amazing sight to see how much love there is for Kendall, and how many lives he touches," Casey Tolley, Kendall's dad, said.
There was a Bluey cake and cupcakes, hot dogs, face painting, and a piñata, which was Kendall's favorite part. There were even prayers for Kendall, prayers for a miracle. There was so much emotion in that room, but also so much joy. His parents were blown away.
"It's so awesome to see all these people that came and care about Kendall," dad Casey Tolley said.
"It lightens my heart that he is so happy, and he just enjoys everybody being here with him," April said. "It's all that a mom wants."
KTVB put a call out for birthday cards for Kendall last month, and you delivered. Hundreds of cards and letters came in for this special boy. He wanted to say thank you for each one.
"I think it's cool and awesome that they care for me," Kendall said. "Thank you."
The Tolley family also wants to say thank you to the amazing community for all of the support, during such a heartbreaking time.
"There's not enough words to say how thankful and grateful I am for all that you have done for us," April said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
If you'd like to be part of Kendall's Krew, you can! You can follow him on the family's Facebook page, and you can send him a card or letter. He loves to get mail. Send your letters to Channel 7 at 5407 W Fairview Ave, Boise, 83706, and we will make sure he gets them.
C/O KTVB STUDIOS
5407 West Fairview Ave
Boise, Idaho 83706
Here is a list of all the local people and companies that donated their services to help make Kendall's birthday unforgettable.
Crooked 8 Events
Smitten Face Painting & Smiles LLC
Magic Man Brad & Balloons
Gimme Some Sugar LLC
Hello Honey Events
Idaho Pizza Kuna
Van Lith Ranch
Marley Mar's Gourmet Kettle Corn
Malorie Jackson Photography
Tammy McMorrow, Cookies and Cakes
The UPS Store Kuna
In A Flash Special Tees & Custom Gifts
Sign Gypsie Boise
Brett Rudolph Videography
Thank you to the many community members who purchased party supplies from the Amazon wish list. and those who came to help set up and clean up.
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