Keaton Barron was an incredible child. Despite battling leukemia since the age of two and half, he was always positive, mature, sweet, witty, and kind. He charmed the nurses with his generosity and intelligence and always thought of others before himself. Despite years of treatment, Keaton never complained about appointments or hospital stays.
On January 2, 2018, Keaton, age seven, was in the hospital with the flu. Thankfully, during this visit, his friend Kay Tangner came to visit and declared, “Keaton, we should start a club!” Keaton agreed, and for the next hour and a half, the two worked diligently to create a kindness club. They decided to call it “The K Club” since Keaton’s nickname was “K,” and Kay’s name started with a “K.” Membership fees would be $1 or “whatever a person can afford,” and Keaton decided that the money would be given to charity. Keaton drew an official logo and chose the K Club mascot, lunchtime, clubhouse, drink, colors, and more.
Keaton really enjoyed planning his new club, and Kay and his parents thought it would be a fun activity for the children being treated at the Jimmy Everest Center and OU Medical Center. A few days later, Kay made K Club membership cards that included President Keaton’s signature, the K Club mission, and the K Club Bible verse. A few nurses and family members began to join, and Kay stated her next big goal: 1,000 K Club members!
Meanwhile, Keaton was receiving intense treatment in Dallas, and his role as President of the K Club kept him distracted as he chose to pay for a well in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bought part of a cow through Heifer International, purchased balloons for other patients on his floor in the hospital, provided gift cards for families with patients in the NICU, and provided treats for the nurses. By May, the K Club had at least one member in all 50 states and several other countries.
Tragically, Keaton’s treatment was unsuccessful, and he passed away on May 11, 2018, at the age of eight. His family and friends came together to continue Keaton’s mission of kindness, courage, compassion, and caring. Within a few months, Keaton’s Kindness Foundation became an official corporation, and a few months after that, it became a non-profit.
Keaton’s Kindness Foundation now works to spread kindness around the world through random acts of kindness with a special emphasis on bringing joy and comfort to pediatric cancer patients and their families. The K Club provides Lego sets to children in the hospital, K packs (care packs) to children under hospice care, and assists with funeral costs for children who have lost their battle with cancer.