Little boy raising money for cancer research honored by Tigers

The little boy who captured hearts raising money for cancer after losing one of his best is being honored Friday at the Detroit Tiger's game.

"He said, 'Daddy, I want to change the world,'" said the boy's father, Drew Nicol.

And that seems to be what now 5-year-old Connor Nicol is doing. While it started with simply pouring a cup of pink lemonade outside his home in Macomb last month, little Connor's goal -- to raise money for children battling cancer -- has captured the hearts of thousands.

"We've received letters and charitable donations from I believe over 20 states, and even one from France, which is astounding," Nicol said.

Now the Detroit Tigers are planning to honor Connor during a pre-game ceremony on the field Friday night for Pediatric Cancer Awareness night.

"They're having Connor, as well as other people from several different foundations, to generate awareness for pediatric cancer, all on the field prior to the game," Nicol said.

Connor's inspiration for the garage sale and lemonade stand was his 3-year-old friend Ella, who passed away last year from a brain tumor.

"I love her," Connor said.

On his first day, Connor raised $93 to buy toys for other kids. That $93 has turned in to over $12,000 so far.

His parents say Connor, who is now in kindergarten, is still focused on his goal.

"He doesn't truly understand the scope of it all but he's been laser-focused and unwavering in his dedication to this effort," Nicol said. "He talks about Ella all the time."

Planning a fundraiser on the anniversary of his best friend's death next Wednesday, Connor's parents say they also plan to start a foundation called Connor's Mission through the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan.

"It's a fund that we are going to be able to use these funds to both buy toys and deliver them to the hospitals and also be able to -- because of how much we've received -- actually provide grants to different foundations as well for pediatric cancer awareness and research," Nicol said.

While Connor's parents say their little boy can't wait to stand next to his favorite players and see his mission on the Jumbotron Friday night, they say they're thankful and proud of the impact he's already made.

"We wanted to make sure he never lost sight of the overall goal and that was to continue to create awareness, to raise awareness, but also not to forget Ella and everything she stood for," Nicol said.

If you'd like to meet Connor and his family, the fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at California Pizza Kitchen, 17350 Hall Road in Clinton Township.