Bridge Water Church packed to honor Fairfield’s Kyler Bradley

Upcoming fundraisers for Kyler Bradley

  • LaRosa's at Liberty Township, 4363 Hamilton-Middletown Rd., 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of all proceeds to help Kyler and his family.
  • Duke Energy Convention Center, March 19, 2016, will host a silent and live auction, sit down dinner (semi-formal attire) with proceeds going to help the fight against DIPG. Go to and use code "KYLERSTRONG" in order to be seated at Kyler's supporter tables.

Residents from around the area, and few who braved the elements to travel farther, turned out Saturday afternoon at the Bridge Water Church for the “homecoming celebration” held in honor of 10-year-old Fairfield elementary student Kyler Bradley, who is suffering from a rare form of brain cancer.

Last October, Kyler's parents, Rebecca and Kirk, learned that he had inoperable brain cancer, and as the Journal-News previously reported, the cancer was identified as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, commonly known as DIPG. This is the same pediatric cancer that struck Mount St. Joseph basketball player Lauren Hill, who died in April of 2015 at 19 years old, after battling the disease.

One of the Bradley's neighbors, Barbara Holland, said when Kyler returned home to his Fairfield Twp. home two weeks ago, the entire community turned out to wish him well. Saturday's event, Holland said, was a chance to let everybody and Kyler get together to celebrate his coming home.

“This was his mother’s idea, so that people would have a chance to see him and have a celebration. All these people here don’t know Kyler. They have been posting messages on Facebook and he has followers all the way in England,” she said. “His mother has been by his side 24/7; she didn’t come home until he came home. They are a blessed family.They are holding up as well as can be expected, and this really nice turnout shows they have a great support system.”

The crowd packed the church and lined up to hug Rebecca and Kirk and catch a glimpse of Kyle who was by his mom’s side in a medical bed adorned with his cherished Pikachu doll. “Team Kyler” and ‘Kyler Strong” shirts were worn by many as they watched the brave young child move his hands and show what the church’s lead pastor, Drew Wilkerson, called a heart-warming showing by Kyler, his family and the community.

“We love the Bradley family, and they attend the church here. We have been praying for them,” he said. “The miracle is knowing that their family is bringing so many people closer to each other and closer to God as we’re praying together and as we’re learning how to unite together as a community around this need and around Kyler.”

Captain American and a Jedi (the costumed duo interacted with Kyler as a surprise), along with folks from all walks of life, put smiles on the family’s face and offered support during the celebration that boosted the spirits of Kyler’s parents, Wilkerson said.

State Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., was in attendance, and he felt the celebration was very inspirational.

“This is what life is all about — this is people who never ever give up, and they keep fighting for life and you can just see the outpouring of affection from their friends and neighbors. It is just wonderful,” he said. “You can’t say enough about the people at Ford who work with Kirk, great people of Fairfield Twp., the Fairfield fire chief and firemen. This is great to be a part of.”

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