He doesn’t remember the child’s name, age or the exact year that they met, but he has never forgotten his spirit.
“He knew he was sick. He knew he could die, but all he was worried about was if he was going to be able to go home and play with his dog,” Busby said.
The two bonded on the ride to Birmingham by talking about their dogs. Busby had a German Shepherd and the little boy loved a canine that always seemed to be getting into trouble.
For example, he told Busby about one time that the pup left a stinky surprise in his daddy’s church shoes.
Although the child was battling pneumonia and respiratory distress, he managed to share one story after another about his dog.
“It really showed me the innocence of kids,” Busby said.
That call occurred some time between fall 2004 and 2006.
Several years later, Busby started writing a song that he titled “Heroes to Me,” a tribute to the young patients who inspire cultural heroes like paramedics and firefighters.
He lacked a proper hook for the arrangement until he remembered the little boy who missed his dog.
Busby is now planning to make a music video for the song using children that have been contacted by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Parents of local children who would like to participate may email Busby at firstname.lastname@example.org or send him a message on Facebook.
He hopes one of the leukemia survivors who answers the call is the young man who inspired the song.
“I don’t have any way to get in touch with him, but I sure want him to find me,” Busby said.