Family who lost child to cancer seek help for funeral costs - WSMV News 4

Family who lost child to cancer seek help for funeral costs

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A Clarksville family lost their 10-year-old son this week after a long battle with cancer. Still grieving, that family's faced with an overwhelming problem. Now in the wake of tragedy, they are asking for help.

Little Mark Drew's room is all LEGO knights, planes, dinosaurs and Star Wars. He'd assemble it all with the help of his mom and dad, Mark and Bobbette Drew of Clarksville, and his aunt, Carry Smith. Then, Little Mark would take his trip to see Santa at Governor's Square Mall to ask for even more LEGOs.

"Got on the floor, got all the maps out, got all the colors," laughed Bobbette Drew, remembering building LEGOs with her son. "It had to be perfect. It had to be the right piece."

His support team was there to build with Little Mark throughout his five-year battle with neuroblastoma -- through all the traveling and hospital visits, he always had with him his stuffed dog, Sunday, and his "beads of courage."

"From, like, a blood draw, to chemo, to clinic visits, each bead has a significant meaning to what he went through," explained Bobbette, looking at a large pile of threaded beads.

"Even in a wheelchair, he kept a smile on his face," she said.

"He was a real trooper, a real fighter," added his father Mark Drew. "He was very brave."

Little Mark took his last picture with Santa at Governor's Square Mall last week. 

After a long, hard battle, he passed away Tuesday.

"His little body couldn't handle it no more. I think our baby knew," Bobbette said. "We thought we had more time with Mark."

"He was loved by so many people," Mark said. "He didn't deserve to go through all this."

Now, after years of traveling and treatments, the family says they're facing a major problem.

"This funeral is going to cost a little over $10,000, and we don't have that kind of money laying around," said Carry Smith, Little Mark's aunt. 

The cost includes the funeral itself in addition to a burial plot.

"I'm retired Army," added Mark Drew. "I was in 20 years. We're living on a fixed income. We couldn't get life insurance because of his diagnosis, neuroblastoma cancer. We've refinanced this house two times. We filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so I'm unable to even get a loan to pay for the cost of a funeral."

Looking to help, a friend has set up a GoFundMe page for the family. Donations can also be sent to the Neal Tarpley Parchman Funeral Home.

"We don't want our baby to have to wait any longer," said Bobbette. "He should be laid to rest at peace."

"I was there the day he was diagnosed, and I was there to see him take his last breath and say my goodbyes," said Smith. "We just want to show him all the love we can if that's the last thing we do for him."

To donate to Little Mark's funeral fund, click here.

The Neal Tarpley Parchman Funeral Home is located at 1510 Madison St, Clarksville, TN 37040. Donations can be made directly to the funeral home, care of the Drew family.

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