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Obituaries

Haledon Boy, 8, Who Died Of Asthma Hoped His Kidney Could Help 'Pop Pop' Live

Justin and Caleb Van De Voort Photo Credit: Justin Van De Voort
Caleb Photo Credit: Jay Goodrich

A Haledon family with a distinguished lineage of first responders is hoping the organs of an 8-year-old boy who died Monday night from complications of an asthma attack will help others live -- especially his grandfather.

Caleb Van De Voort overheard his father and grandmother discussing an organ transplant for his maternal "pop pop," retired Haledon Police Chief Louis Mercuro, when he offered his own.

Justin Van De Voort explained the process of organ donation to his son -- and, still, Caleb wanted to help.

If tests show a match, his kidney will help his grandfather live.

"[Caleb] was so much stronger than I," said Van Der Voort, a former Haledon firefighter. "And like Spider Man he is a true superhero now."

A GoFundMe was established for the Van De Voort family.

Caleb comes from a long line of local heroes.

His great-grandfather, Darwin Van De Voort, and father were both Haledon firefighters. His grandfather, Roy Van De Voort, is currently a member.

"He was my rock and I hurt in ways I cannot describe," Van De Voort said, "but I picture him now happier than ever with much love where he is and everything he could ever want."

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