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Mother who lost 1-year-old son to cancer asks for painted rocks for his grave

Sean only lived a year but he absolutely loved Halloween celebrations, so his mom wants to decorate his grave for the holiday.
/ Source: TODAY

Hannah Chamberlain's son, Sean, lived for just over a year before dying from acute myeloid leukemia.

Chamberlain says Sean spent most of his short life in the hospital, and she remembers Halloween 2018 as the only holiday she was able to celebrate somewhat normally with her then 8-month-old son.

During his short life, Hannah Chamberlain says her son, Sean, was most healthy and able to celebrate on Halloween 2018.Hannah Chamberlain

"Halloween was one of the best times of Sean's life," Chamberlain told TODAY Parents. "It was the only holiday that really felt like home while living in the hospital. Everyone wore costumes the week of Halloween — all the nurses, CMAs and even some of the doctors. We decorated our hospital room ... and watched children's Halloween movies all month. On the day of Halloween, Sean wore three different costumes. We trick or treated and collected his toys and candies. It was the first time he was able to play with other children, and seeing all of their costumes made his eyes light up. He was smiling all day."

Because of his leukemia, one of the only times Sean was able to interact with other children was while looking at their Halloween costumes while trick-or-treating in the hospital.Hannah Chamberlain

Sean died in March 2019, after undergoing treatment for leukemia from the time he was 4 months old.

After his passing, Chamberlain posted in a local rock painting group on Facebook, asking for members of the group to help her brighten the atmosphere at her son's grave site by painting rocks and sending them to her. Multiple members of the group sent the grieving mom rocks with paintings of Sesame Street and Disney characters and other kind sentiments.

Members of the South County Rocks Rhode Island rock painting group created these rocks after Sean's passing to mark his grave.Hannah Chamberlain

"It really brought a lot of love and happiness to our family when we went to visit his grave," said Chamberlain. "They were incredibly beautiful."

Months later, Chamberlain is seeking painted rocks from around the world to place on Sean's grave during this Halloween season.

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"It's really difficult to visit your 1-year-old's grave, and to accept that I won't be waking to his cheery face at six a.m. anymore," said Chamberlain. "Seeing the rocks will help keep his memory alive and remind me of his life and the good times we had."

Chamberlain says receiving rocks during this Halloween season will help her remember the happy times she shared with her son before his death.Hannah Chamberlain

In addition, Chamberlain, who lives in West Kingston, Rhode Island with Sean's father, Sean Siegel II, says she hopes her request will bring continued awareness to pediatric cancer research.

"Each rock helps raise awareness for the unethical and indecent amount of funding pediatric cancer research gets," said Chamberlain. "It is really unfair and if more awareness was raised, we would be able to help these children who are dying from cancer. They cannot stand up for themselves, so I want to raise as much awareness as I can because what Sean went through was not fair."

Those interested in painting a rock in Sean's memory can email Chamberlain at to arrange shipment.

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