A 5-year-old boy left the world exactly as he wanted to: flying among superheroes. Brayden Denton, who passed away from brain cancer this month, was sent off by a group of friends and family dressed as his favorite superheroes.
The Newton County, Ind. boy lost his fight to an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was diagnosed with DIPG in April of last year, undergoing 30 rounds of radiation treatment to fight off the disease.
The pallbearers who carried Brayden’s coffin were dressed as Spider-Man, Thor, the Hulk, Superman, Iron Man and Batman.
"The whole time I saw them carrying Brayden he was probably up there going, 'This is so cool,'" mom Staci Denton told the New York Daily News on Monday. "That was his world. That's what he would have wanted."
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"I really liked the idea," said Brayden's 28-year-old uncle Cory, who was Thor at the funeral. "At first I wasn't sure if I could be a pallbearer because I was really close to him."
After her son passed away on May 8, Staci Denton thought about what he would have wanted. And Brayden’s love, she said, had always been superheros.
"He could care less about people being in suits, ties and dresses," she said. "He was a 5-year-old boy. That's not what he thought was neat. He loved looking at superhero T-shirts."
Her son’s battle with cancer itself was heroic, his mom pointed out.
"He stopped completely walking. Then we got through that hurdle. Then he started not being able to eat or drink," Stacie Denton told KPHO.
The mom wore a Spiderman t-shirt to the service in honor of her brave and fun-loving son.
Brayden got to meet Spiderman himself at Universal Studios in Florida last year, courtesy of the Make-a-Wish foundation.
The family is trying to raise money for DIPG research, a rare childhood cancer with a survival rate that is effectively 0. Staci Denton donated her son’s brain tumor to research, and is getting with Indiana Sen. Ron Alting to declare September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.