SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KOLO) -- A young boy from South Lake Tahoe has put a family friend before himself, an altruistic act of friendship and hope.
Helena Kletch, 33, moved to South Lake Tahoe years ago from Florida to continue her career and passion of singing and songwriting. At one point, she moved in with Noah Reed, 8, and his mother, where the two became close.
After a while, Kletch started feeling sick. She decided to get checked out at a hospital.
“I thought I just had a stomach bug; I couldn’t eat,” Kletch said, “They had tested me and found out I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”
Kletch moved back home with her parents in Clearwater, Florida to start treatment. Reed was well aware of her new battle, and wanted to make sure she knew that he and the entire South Lake Tahoe community was rooting her on.
Reed decided to shave his head mid-January 2019 in honor of Kletch. He later posted a video on YouTube, where it began to gain traction. Reed didn’t tell Kletch he was doing it; she didn’t find out until he surprised her on FaceTime.
“I cried right when I saw it,” Kletch said. “I just couldn’t imagine that he would do that for me.”
“I shaved my head so I could support her,” Reed said. “I’ll let it grow back, but I’m going to shave it until her hair grows back so she doesn’t feel alone.”
Kletch continues to recover every day; she says her doctors tell her she’s responding to the treatment very well, which helps her have hope for many years ahead.
“Don’t be afraid because cancer research has come a really long way,” Kletch said, “Be as positive as you possibly can.”
Kletch and Reed are working to make plans to be reunited, either back in South Lake Tahoe where she wants to return or at Disneyworld in Orlando. The community here also continues to give Kletch endless support.
"I love the Tahoe area and I just want to get back to my music and just be the healthiest version of myself and stay on top of everything and just make sure this doesn't come back," Kletch says.
There is a GoFundMe account set up for Kletch. If you’d like to donate, click here.