Cancer Patient’s Memorial Plaque Missing

Max Kleckner died Dec. 24, 2012 after a battle with a rare childhood cancer

The tight-knit community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea is asking for the public’s help to find a bronze plaque belonging to a beloved resident.

Max Spartacus Kleckner -- known as “Mighty Max” -- died Christmas Eve 2012. The young cancer patient touched a lot of lives in Cardiff during his short life, so a plaque was placed at Spartacus Point in his honor.

On Jan. 2, the plaque went missing.

Max was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma when he was just 4 years old. He first noticed a pain in his ear and then his eyes. The pain turned out to be a tumor.

“Max used to love to go to the beach,” his father Mark Kleckner said. The family named a small portion of the Cardiff beach Spartacus Point because Spartacus was Max’s middle name.

Max got the nickname “Mighty Max” because of his bravery.

“They used to give him a bead at the hospital any time he had a procedure. A shot, radiation, chemo, surgery, anything they did to him. By time they were done, he had over 700 beads,” Mark said.

During Max’s long fight with the disease, the people of Cardiff came together to help raise money to pay for his medical bills. Now, just two years after his death, they’re banding together again, this time to find the missing plaque.

“I don’t know why anybody would take it. It’s not worth very much,” Mark said.

He’s asking anyone who has the plaque to anonymously return it to Seaside Market in Cardiff.

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