Laurel McAdoo is escorted by Bethlehem fire officials into the ceremony to celebrate her son's life.
Photo by Tom Heffernan Sr..
continued McAdoo said she was able to give her children positive experiences that she wouldn’t have been able to afford if it wasn’t for the kindness of strangers and help from the community.
“I would like to think that, for Marcel especially, the memories leading up to Myles’ passing are bright and positive,” she said.
On good days, Myles attended school.
“He was the kind of kid that no matter what you were going through could make you laugh,” said Hamagrael Elementary School Principal David Ksanznak.
Teachers and staff in the school were made award of Myles’ situation and worked hard to make life as normal as possible. His classmates were unaware of what little time they had left with their friend. Myles McAdoo passed away on Tuesday, July 24.
“He went quickly and quietly and on his own terms and I’m proud of him for that. I’m proud of how he lived, how he died and the legacy he left on this community,” said McAdoo.
Although Myles was in a wheelchair, he was active up until his last day, going on adventures with his brother. McAdoo said she believes one of his most recent happy days was visiting the town pool in Elm Avenue Park on the Fourth of July. He was able to see a lot of his friends from school and went swimming.
“I think he felt great there because I think he felt normal,” she said.
On Sunday, July 29, the community honored Myles and his memory with a tribute celebration at the Bethlehem YMCA. Everyone worn orange, Myles’ favorite color, and said kind words of remembrance. The Delmar Fire Department presented McAdoo with a firefighter’s helmet, making Myles an honorary member, and balloons were released. About 1,500 people were in attendance.
“Myles would want everyone to be themselves and not to be down,” said Ksanznak. “He would want people to remember the good qualities about him and how to leave this world a better place. That’s the kind of person he was.”
Now to honor her son’s legacy, McAdoo is starting the Myles for Smiles Foundation to help bring a smile to children in need.
“He was the very best of me,” said McAdoo. There was nothing tainted about him, he was very pure and driven. It rang clear who this little boy was.”