Beckham Hoagland-Bice, a 9-year-old Melba resident, who battled cancer for nearly two years, died Saturday.
Beckham was diagnosed in 2017 with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma — he had an inoperable brain tumor. Doctors estimated he had about six months to live. With the help of radiation treatments, Beckham lived another 21 months after the diagnosis.
In the meantime, his cancer battle received a lot of attention, from people in the Treasure Valley and beyond.
”He has changed this world and today will forever be a sad day for thousands,” read a post on the “Brave Beckham DIPG Warrior” Facebook page, which is managed by Beckham’s mother, Alli Hoagland, and has more than 17,000 followers.
”We feel him here with us in our hearts and in his home,” the post said.
On Monday, the Melba School District asked students to wear red, Beckham’s favorite color. Beckham was a Melba Elementary School student until about a year ago when he became too sick to attend school.
Sherry Ann Adams, Melba Elementary School principal, said she doesn’t know whose idea it was to wear red, but word spread through word of mouth and social media. School administrators tried to stay positive on Monday, she said.
”He was a pretty important part of our community,” Adams said. “For the most part, everyone was really positive and focusing on the good times.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.
”He would want us to be happy, he was smiling (until) the very end,” the Facebook post said.