Community gives big hug to boy suffering leukemia for the 3rd time

BOTHELL, Wash. -- A young boy's illness inspired an entire community to take action, and that action took the form of early morning exercise and a sea of orange.

If Colton Matter had his way, this story would be about his baseball exploits, but it's not.

If he had it his way, he wouldn't have gotten leukemia the first time, or the second time.

And, if he had his way, it wouldn't have come back a third time.

"Boy you don't know where to start," said Butch Matter, Colton's father. "Each time you hear the news, it doesn't feel right."

And Colton wouldn't have been at Bothell's Cedarwood Elementary School early in the morning last week for a fun run in his honor.

"It's hard to remember our life before cancer," said Suzy Matter, Colton's mom. "But when we look at pictures and do that kind of stuff, it's like, yeah, we're not supposed to be doing this. But because we've kind of gotten 'used' to cancer, in a weird way. Quite honestly, I get mad when I look at his baby pictures. "I'm like, you know what? That shouldn't happen."

At Cedarwood, hundreds of kids streamed out of the gym towards the starting line, each wearing "Colton's Army" T-Shirts and sweatshirts.

And when the "go" sign was give, it was a big wave of orange running off -- a whole community's hug for a kid who needs it.

"We're a family," said kindergarten teacher Stephaine Schuldt. "We do things as a family, we're not just a school and students and teachers. We're a family."

Towards the end of the race, one kid in particular really poured it on with a furious finish.

"Good, I got first place," said the winner.

His name? Case. Colton's brother.

"Uh, I just wanted to race for my brother," Case Matter said.

When Colton's parent's insurance company wouldn't pay for a third bone marrow transplant, Seattle Children's Hospital stepped up and handled the bill.

Meanwhile, Colton's dad gave his own bone marrow for a transplant on Thursday which was a big success. Both father and son are doing very well.