NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Eleven-year-old Hunter Keipper keeps a chest with his parents’ belongings. Every once in a while, he goes through it, pulling out the strand of his mother’s hair and the hat his father always wore.

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Hunter was just five-years-old when his father died from an asthma attack. “I know he really loved me,” he said assuredly.

One year later, Hunter’s mother began battling ovarian cancer. “She always told me she was gonna win it,” he said. “She just didn’t want to give up.” He was nine when she died. “It wasn’t a great day.”

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Like a growing number of children, Hunter now lives with a grandparent, Dianna Foster. “The savings I had went to take care of my daughter when she was sick,” Foster said of her financial situation.

Together Hunter and his grandmother share a tiny one bedroom apartment, paying the bills with her social security checks. “He deserves a lot more than I can give him,” Foster said.

For the pre-teen boy to receive her benefits, Foster says, she would have to adopt him, but that costs money too.

Ryan Kirkham is a family law attorney. “It can costs several thousand dollars and for people who are in a position that they’re on a fixed income, like an adoptive grandparent, that can be a tremendous burden.”

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Hunter’s aunt stepped in and set up a website to try and help Hunter. The goal is raise $3,000 to be used for his adoption. With the help of generous friends, they’re halfway to their goal.

“It’s a humbling experience,” said Foster, “to take money from other people and for them to give it.”

Neither she nor Hunter planned on this life, but if it means they get to stay together, it’s the life they’re willing to fight for.

Click here to find out more about and donate to the Hunter Keipper Fund.

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