For the last three months, 10-year-old Haden has set up shop on the front lawn of his Lincolnton, North Carolina, home. He arranged a table, made a sign and passed out flyers – advertising his art for sale for a dollar.
I’m just doing it to make my little brother happy and to make sure he doesn’t give up, Haden tells PEOPLE.
Haden is raising money to buy toys for his younger brother Max, who is 7 years old and suffers from a rare nerve and tumor disorder that makes life very uncomfortable.
When he was 9 months old, genetic testing showed Max was born with neurofibromatosis.
Anything you can imagine going wrong is affected. He has tumors, migraines, neuropathy, seizures, muscle weakness…the list just keeps going and every day he gets a little worse, his mother, Cynthia Davis, 29, tells PEOPLE.
He used to be the most outgoing, hyperactive child, just the life of the party, she adds. Now he barely wants to get out of bed.
A few months ago, Haden started to realize just how sick his little brother is and he moved his mattress into Max’s room.
They’re inseparable now, Davis says of her boys. Haden’s idea is to just give him more and more and just make every moment the best it could possibly be.
Haden says he likes to draw monsters and skeletons and loves that he keeps selling out of his work.
So far he’s made $100. The brothers recently spent some of the money on Legos and other toys they could play together. Max has to wear a mask and they typically only visit stores when they won’t be crowded.
The art is therapeutic for Haden too – he has autism – and his mom says drawing is a coping mechanism.
It’s fantastic, it’s nice that this is the way he’s coping with Max being so sick, Davis says.
For Haden, it’s pretty simple.
I just want him to be happy. If he’s happy, I’m happy, he says.