Tribute To Cody Hayes
Posted by: Steve Hardwick
Date: May 15 2017 3:35 PM
On May 23rd, 1997 Alicia Hayes gave birth to a beautiful baby boy that she and her husband Frank named Cody Hayes. He was born 3 days after my son Michael was born. I never had the honor of meeting Cody but he will be a part of me for the rest of my life.
Cody had been diagnosed with Leukemia when I had heard about him on Facebook. At the time I was totally unaware of who his father was. Later I learned that Frank and Alicia Hayes were the loving parents of their only child..Cody Hayes. I went to school with Frank but had lost touch over the years just as I had with so many others that I grew up with.
I started following the Facebook post about Cody and his fight to defeat this terrible disease called ..CANCER. I think he was only 17 at the time. He certainly had made an impact on his schoolmates because they were visiting him at the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham and right there with him when he would come home.
I’m just a floor covering salesman. Thank God I didn’t know anything about pediatric cancer other than the occasional comments I heard over the years about a child with cancer. But Cody Hayes wasn’t an occasional comment. I could see for myself that Cody was a very unselfish, loving and giving 17 year old boy. Pictures were posted of him walking down the hospital corridors holding hands with other children with cancer.. younger than he was. One picture I remember Cody was holding a little boy up in the air who had cancer. Every ounce of strength Cody had left in his body he used to help others fighting Cancer. His nurses certainly loved him..one picture showed him walking down the hospital corridor holding a nurses hand.
Cody Hayes, a 17 year old boy, grabbed my heart and he didn’t even know it. He grabbed many hearts all over Alabama who heard of his fight to battle this deadly disease.
So I started Cakes for Cody to try and help Cody’s family with medical expenses. Never in my life had I ever imagined myself baking a cake. But by God I was going to bake some for this amazing 17 year old boy and bake I did. A few flopped at first but that was ok because my pug didn’t mind eating cake crumbs off the floor. During the Cakes for Cody fundraiser I received the sad news that Cody had passed. Now that I look back I think that God needed a Cody Hayes in His Heaven more than we did on earth. The fundraiser was a success and raised about $9000.00 I think. I never said this until now but I was too uncomfortable giving Alicia and Frank the money in person so I left it at my bank so they could pick it up there. I was too scared to meet a parent who had just lost their child.
After Cakes for Cody had ended I just couldn’t get Cody Hayes off my mind. This handsome 17 year old boy who was fighting for his own life was consistently helping others who were fighting for their life as well. I never really knew who I wanted to be for the most part but suddenly I realized that if I could be half the person Cody was I’d be doing pretty darn good.
So because of a 17 year old boy named Cody Hayes many other parents who had a child with cancer or other life threatening diseases in the Dothan area have received help by baking a simple poundcake and because of Cody’s inspiration The Angel Of Hope Statue at Westgate Park was created so that Frank and Alicia Hayes and every other parent who has lost a child can be reassured that their child will never be forgotten.
So Cody I know you can hear me when I say...Thank you for teaching me by example how to help others in need no matter what struggles I may be fighting myself. I will never forget the young man that You Are
As Cody's 20th Birthday Approaches please Keep his loving parents in your prayers.
One day we shall meet ..til then I thank you,