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Community Pays Tribute to 4-Year-Old Cancer Victim at Football Game


WHEELERSBURG, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The black and orange that fills Wheelersburg's football stadium, on this Friday night was replaced with green.

It was all because of the inspiring story of a 4-year-old boy who had a love for John Deere tractors.

"That's been his favorite since he was born," family friend Beth Madden said.

As players represented their school on the gridiron and their classmates cheered them on in the stands, the community paid tribute to Boston Schwamberger.

"You almost had a feeling he knew his time here was short," Madden said.

Boston was diagnosed with a brain tumor 9 months ago. The town held fundraisers, and "Battling for Boston" became a mission to help him fight cancer.

However, that battle ended Wednesday.

"He brought people to Jesus that had never prayed before, who came to pray with him," Madden said.

Players wore green B's on their helmets. Cheerleaders wore green shirts.

A moment of silence was held for Boston before the game.

As the team ran onto the field before kickoff, 600 green and yellow balloons were released.

"He's touched so many lives and will continue to touch lives from now on," Madden said.

Boston's visitation was held Friday night at a funeral home in Portsmouth because there wasn't one big enough in Wheelersburg for the turnout.

Friends took iPhone video of the balloon release and sent it to Boston's parents.

They said they were extremely touched and moved by the outpouring of support.

Boston's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Redeemer Church.

The family is asking people to wear their green John Deere or “Battling for Boston” shirts to the funeral.

On her Facebook page, Boston's mother Ashley said, "This will be a time to celebrate an amazing little boy's life, not for sadness. Boston wouldn't have it any other way. He was wild, he was hilarious, he was stinker, he was a sweetheart and that's exactly how we will remember him."

At Friday night’s game they began a memorial scholarship fund as a tribute to Boston's legacy.

Half of the proceeds from the special shirts that were made have gone to the family’s medical bills and funeral expenses.

Boston’s father Joe graduated from Wheelersburg, and his mother is also from Scioto County.


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