Three things immediately stand out when you pull up to the Davis' home: a purple mailbox, a painted teal awning, and a red-haired young boy sitting at a table on the front lawn.
"Pictures for sale $1. Designed by Haden," the table's hand-written sign reads.
Haden Edwards, 10, sits at the table intently drawing. The desk is a young artist's version of a lemonade stand. Sketches of dragons, snakes, monsters and Pokemon cover the table. Haden's artwork is intricate, impressive and symbolic, for another piece of the drawing's beauty lies within the $1 price.
Max is Haden's little brother. The 7-year-old has been battling a handful of difficult medical conditions including a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis. The defect has caused tumors to grow on Max's brain, forcing him to undergo an unsuccessful brain surgery. Max's family and friends nervously anticipate April, the month doctors say will determine if Max has other treatment options.
The diagnosis and aftermath of Max's condition have been difficult. The family and community have found ways to rally around Max, such as a local 5k fundraiser and incorporating creativity to show support, hence the teal awning and purple mailbox, both representative colors of causes Max is currently fighting.
Haden's main concern is bringing his little brother joy. Something he's able to do with his artwork.
"I just like to see Max happy," Haden says. "Spending time with him is my favorite thing to do."
Dollar by dollar, Haden saves up.
"[Max] would prefer to stay comfortable in a bed and it's very important to all of us, especially Haden, that we give Max a reason to want to fight," the boys' mother, Cynthia, says. "Haden's very good about giving [Max] a reason to be excited and one thing Max loves to do is go shopping."
The money collected from selling Haden's artwork provides a way for the two brothers to connect. Once enough is saved, they head to the local Dollar Tree or Walmart.
"We mostly buy Legos," Haden says.
Haden is autistic. His mother says drawing is a coping mechanism for him and that he carries his paper and pencils wherever they go.
"I've liked to draw since I was born," Haden says.
"No matter where we're at, he's drawing something," Cynthia says. "We've had several people ask for a drawing or be like, 'Oh, you should sell that!'
Cynthia says one day Haden decided to set up his table, set out a sign and deliver flyers around the neighborhood saying, 'Whatever money I make I'm going shopping for Max.'
"I wanted to do it because I wanted to spend more time with Max," Haden says.
The drawings were a hit. On his first day selling his artwork, Haden raked in $23.
"People just started coming around, we get messages or phone calls or people just stop by the house and want to know if Haden's drawing anything recently," Cynthia says.
Haden's commitment to bringing his brother joy is right in line with his caring character. If the saying, 'it's the little things in life that count the most,' were literal, Haden would be tallying up quite a score.
The 10-year-old has become known in the community for his various acts of kindness. Haden often uses his savings to pay for part of another diners' meal at a restaurant or the following car at the drive-thru, he volunteers at a local nursing home, and delivers meals on wheels. Even his signature red hair is being put to use as Haden's growing it out to donate to cancer research.
"He makes me proud. Very, very proud," Cynthia says. "It makes me excited that that's the next generation that's taking over our country."
Cynthia hopes that Haden's ability to overcome difficult times and challenges with such kindness will inspire other children.
"It gives me hope... we could have just this wonderful generation of giving, caring people."
For more information on Max and his family, visit their GoFundMe account.
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