Trisha Kielty of Edwardsville, whose 2-year-old daughter, Cara, was diagnosed with leukemia in May, said 8-year-old neighbor Wyatt Erber told her earlier in the summer he was entering the summer-long scavenger hunt, sponsored by First Clover Leaf Bank in Edwardsville, and planned to donate his winnings toward Cara's care, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
Kielty said Tuesday she appreciated the gesture but she was shocked when he called a few weeks later to tell her he had won.
"He said: 'How much chemo will $1,000 buy Cara?'" Kielty said. "I'm completely floored by him. To step up and donate his winnings ... is crazy."
Erber said the decision to give away his winnings was easy.
"I wanted to give it to them," he said. "I didn't know what to do with it."
Rachel Case, a spokeswoman for First Clover Leaf Bank, said she contacted Edwardsville Neighbors in Need, which offers financial assistance to local families with emergencies or medical hardships, about Erber's gift and the group agreed to match his $1,000 donation.
"It's just the sweetest thing that he's been playing all summer for her," Case said. "We got goose bumps when we heard. I don't know any 8-year-olds who would do this."