ATLANTIC CITY – Brady Kahle is just 10 years old.
The Springfield, Mass. native doesn’t have the biggest booth this week at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City but there’s a real possibility that he has the biggest heart.
Brady has been collecting ever since he can remember. He loves the thrill of pulling a big card out of a pack but said that doesn’t compare to the thrill of helping a friend in need.
His good friend, Landen Palatino, was diagnosed with glioblastoma brain cancer and had brain surgery to remove a grade four tumor in January.
Wanting desperately to help a close family friend, Brady sprung to action the only way he knew how.
“He just got really sick and I had lot of cards so I thought to sell some of them so I could help,” he told Sports Collectors Daily Friday at the NSCC.
What started as a small gesture of kindness from a friend has garnered national and even international attention.
The Cards for a Cause campaign was picked up first by local television and print media outlets in the Springfield area and quickly blossomed from there. It all began on Super Bowl Sunday at a local card show. Fast forward less than a year later and when Brady and his family were offered their own booth at The National courtesy of Upper Deck.
In between, the tale of the special friendship between the two boys has been told by dozens of news sources. He even had the chance to throw out the first pitch at Fenway for a Boston Red Sox game in April.
But more importantly, Cards for a Cause has raised well over $10,000 for the Palatino family.
“Proud isn’t a strong enough word,” said Jessie Kahle, Brady’s mom. “It was just one night in our kitchen and we said we couldn’t imagine being in that position. We needed to help.
“In walks Brady in his pajamas and now we’re standing here with Upper Deck.”
Upper Deck provided Brady with floor space and a booth this week. Dealers and collectors alike have been stopping by and giving donations of cards, memorabilia and money.
“This is really cool,” said Steve Petig, Brady’s stepfather. “I don’t even know how to put it into words. We’re so proud of him for being so selfless.
Retag said that Landen is in remission but will still be undergoing treatment for the foreseeable future.
Donations have also been sent to the family from around the country and even from places like Mexico, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.
“The pouring in of donations we have gotten this year is amazing – it’s overwhelming,” Petig said. “Once it started getting attention, it just blew up way beyond what we could have ever expected.”
Brady’s six-year-old sister, Zoe, was also on hand along with his grandfather, Jim. Zoe was helping by selling bracelets inscribed with “Brady’s Booth” and #Cards4ACause.
Jim has been collecting for years and was a big reason Brady got into the hobby at a young age.
“It’s so unbelievable and yet he is so humble,” Jim said. “How proud can you be of the kid?”
Brady was nice enough to hand out a signed Topps card of himself with his favorite Roberto Clemente quote on the back.
“Anytime you have the opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting time on this earth,” the quote reads.
Those are words that Brady and his family live by.
“I’m just happy that he’s feeling better and that I was able to help,” he said.
Brady’s booth will be open through Saturday at the NSCC. You can reach Cards for a Cause through their Facebook page and follow Brady on Twitter at @Bcards4acause.