ROSEBORO — In March, the community and students at Roseboro Elementary School honored Ryan “DaeDae” Oates after he passed away, leaving precious memories.
With Christmas coming soon, the family is keeping his memory by making sure smile on Christmas morning. The first “Forever Dabbin’ 4 DaeDae Toy Drive” is underway and will continue through Saturday, Dec. 16.
“This was DaeDae’s favorite time of the year,” his mother Conswella Oates said.
DaeDae passed away in March at the age of 9, after being diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy, a disease which affects the central nervous system. RES held a memorial service, which included a balloon release, tree planting and remarks from educators. He was a fan of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. To assist with medical expenses, the students showed support through the “Dabbin 4 DaeDae” campaign. Newton made the dab popular during celebrations at football games.
Oates showed appreciation to the community for the support. She said the response has been outstanding.
“We’ve had numerous donations and people are still donating,” Oates said.
The family is asking for new and unwrapped toys to benefit needy children and youths facing medical issues. Three drop-off locations are set up in different areas of Sampson County: Just Blessed Hair Salon, 83 E. Front St., Garland; The Ultimate Gallery, 610 A Lisbon St., Clinton; and Roseboro Elementary School, 180 Butler Island Road, Roseboro.
Half of the toys will go to the Sampson County Department of Social Services to children who need help. The other half will benefit children receiving care at the University of North Carolina Hospital. After being diagnosed a few years ago with ALD, DaeDae received a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy treatments to slow the progression. In December of 2016, he returned from the hospital.
“We know what it’s like to be away for the holidays,” Oates said about receiving medial services. “We were in the same position as some of these kids, but we were able to get him home for Christmas. I would like to pay it forward.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.