A community pays tribute to 10-year-old Oliver Palmer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A community pays tribute to 10-year-old Oliver Palmer

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Thursday night, friends of the Palmer family are asking the community to leave their porch light on for Oliver. Early Thursday morning, the ten year old from Waterloo lost his two-year battle with an inoperable brain tumor. His parents say, Oliver's final moments were peaceful; he passed away in his sleep.

The porch light vigil is a sign of support for the family grieving over the loss of their child. It's also a signal to Ollie so he can see from heaven just how many people loved him--not to mention, one more example of a community pulling together behind the Palmers.

When Oliver was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, his family set out to make every moment count.

"They tried to fit a lifetime in the two years that he had. I think they were fortunate to have the two years, I think they were thankful to have the two years with him," family friend Jen Beck said.

The Palmers managed to fit a lot in those two years -- thanks to an outpouring of support from the community.

"The world feel in love with Ollie, but it's really the family. They're all like Ollie. He was just an embodiment of the whole family."

Friends arranged benefits for the family. Hundreds of folks sent cards for Oliver's tenth birthday. And the men and women Ollie looked up to honored him for his bravery.

"Gave him a uniform to make him an honorary police officer and the fire department also made him an honorary firefighter," Waterloo Director of Safety Services Dan Trelka said.

Through it all, ten year old Oliver never let on that was fighting for his life.

"He was in a really difficult position, but he never complained. He didn't want people to know that he was having a hard time," Beck said.

"This kid was confronted with this brutal reality that he had no control over. And he relied on his faith, and tackled it head-on. So he was a lesson for so many of us," Trelka noted.

Thursday morning, his battle ended, but Ollie's legacy lives on.

"I don't think anybody can put a pin on what made him so special," Beck said.

"The world is truly a better place because he shared his life with us," Trelka agreed.

Visitation for Oliver is set for Sunday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 at Hagarty Waychoff Grarup Funeral Service on South Street in Waterloo. The funeral is set for Monday at 11:00 AM at the family's church -- the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Cedar Falls.

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