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AKRON, Ohio– People spent time honoring and remembering a young life, who is also part of the Fox 8 family. Carson Higgins, 12, passed away on Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

He was our St. Jude ambassador at Fox 8, and on Sunday, there was an outpouring of love for Carson and his family as they returned home from the trip of his lifetime.

It was truly a celebration of life at the Akron-Fulton International Airport–the life of Carson Higgins.

“He was just the neatest kid, always so positive, always so happy, never complained,” said Dan Fry, principal at Bath Elementary School.

Carson fought a long battle with Neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system. But he faced it with such strength and hope.

In his Summit County community, Higgins brought people together.

“We’ve struggled together; we’ve cried together; we’ve prayed together, and we’ve supported each other,” Fry said.

It was fitting that he returned home one last time, with a nice welcoming committee.

Bagpipes played as loved ones and friends awaited the return of the young brother, son, and friend who made so much of a difference in people’s lives.

No one knows that more than his brothers and loving parents who walked off of the private jet, Sunday.

“It was beautiful, just amazing, and what a beautiful community, beautiful people,” said John Higgins, Carson’s dad.

“The pilot was funny. He came back and said there may be a few people waiting there for you; he’s like just a few, just being funny.  We looked out the cockpit, holy cow.”

The Higgins family had been traveling the country for weeks with Carson, seeing everything he wanted to see.

“We’re sad; it’s so hard not having him, but we know he’s in a better place and he’s not in pain anymore,” said Debbie Higgins, Carson’s mom.

Through the kindness of strangers, the Higgins were able to travel home together.

“And the generosity of Flexjet to send a jet, a private jet, a big jet, they said
we want to make sure we fit his body comfortably, and respectably,” Mr. Higgins said.

The parents tell Fox 8 it’s the biggest gift they could’ve ever received.

“It was beautiful, truly beautiful.”

Carson passed before he could visit the Grand Canyon or the Hoover Dam, but the flight went over both sites.

The Higgins add that Carson was able to donate his corneas, so he will be giving someone in the future the gift of sight.

More on Carson here.