The McAlpin family stayed up until the early hours of the morning Tuesday, as two-year-old Warrior Kai McAlpin took his final breaths in the arms of his father.
Kai, who was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in early 2016, underwent treatment at the Children's Hospital at St. Francis and was taken home after doctors told his father, Gary, Kai did not have much time left to live.
Gary, who is a minister in Tahlequah, was surprised by the toughness his son showed during his treatment and says Kai fought with everything he had.
"This two-year-old boy fought with the heart of a lion and he fought until the very end," Gary said.
Kai received his warrior nickname from family friends after he was photographed several times sword fighting doctors at St. Francis over the course of his treatment.
After being discharged from the hospital, Kai continued to hold on while his family said their final goodbyes to the young sports fan.
"It took us really convincing him, it's okay. It's okay Kai. We're going to be okay. We love you, but it's okay," Gary said.
Although the McAlpin family is still in mourning after the loss of their son, Gary is still reaching out to law makers in order to help allocate more funds to childhood cancer research.
"Adults are getting over 96 percent of the appropriated funds and it is so lopsided," Gary said.
Along with Oklahoma Representative Matt Meredith and Senator Dewayne Pemberton, Gary hopes to help author a bill to allow federal aid to go to more areas of pediatric research.
"Our children are literally suffering because of that lack support and our children deserve more," Gary said.
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