Ethan’s Fight: The story one brave boy wanted us to tell

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after this story was told in March 2021, Ethan passed away. Ethan’s fight is now Ethan’s impact. His family, friends, and community continue to rally to honor Ethan and help other families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis. As a way to do both during September -- which is Pediatrics Cancer Awareness Month -- shirts were sold with the saying “Ethan is more precious than gold.” You can read more about how this fundraiser is making a difference, HERE.

On any given day, there are families fighting an unthinkable fight and praying for a miracle. Too often, a miracle is needed for a child.

One of those children is 12-year-old Ethan.

Ethan’s the youngest son of a long-time KPRC 2 employee, and he’s been battling cancer since the summer of 2020. Recently, Ethan began wearing a device that allows him to receive messages of support from far and wide. The seventh-grader realized others could benefit from it too and asked us to do a story.

Ethan wears a CaringBand, which is a bracelet that pulses and glows whenever someone sends him a message through the free CaringBand app. The bracelet and app were created by a company based in The Woodlands.

CaringBand CEO and co-founder Charley Donaldson said the idea came after his wife watched her mother battle cancer. She wanted her mom to know she was thinking about her at all times.

That led to wanting to create a product for others in similar situations.

“We wanted to increase the frequency of encouragement and keep it elevated,” Donaldson said. “Just knowing that someone is thinking about you, praying for you is huge.”

The blue-tooth connects to a smartphone and messages appear in the recipient’s app. People can also simply send a quick light to offer encouragement.

“As long as you have the CaringBand app, any time you receive an encouraging message on the app, that bracelet will pulse and light up and let you know that someone is thinking about you at that very moment,” Donaldson said.

CaringBands are for sale on the company’s website, but they also donate bands to children battling life-threatening illnesses.


Ethan’s suggestion to do a story on CaringBands is already making a difference. In the first few days after the story aired on KPRC 2, CaringBands prepared dozens of bracelets to be shipped. Some were purchased, while others were mailed to fulfill requests for donated bands.

On social media, CaringBands wrote: “Ethan’s story is going to make an impact on so many! This shipment today is the first of many that will go out thanks to Ethan’s kindness.”

CaringBands ready to be shipped (CaringBands)

For Ethan, thousands of messages have poured in offering a bright spot during a difficult fight and more continue to come in every day. To learn more about Ethan’s fight, click here. To request a CaringBand for a child facing cancer or another serious illness, visit CaringBand for more information.