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Hometown Heroes: Major Don's Army

BRANSON, Mo. - Eight year old Dalton Burner of couldn't be more excited as he enters his room at the Stillwaters Resort In Branson.
BRANSON, Mo. -- Eight-year-old Dalton Burner of couldn't be more excited as he enters his room at the Stillwaters Resort In Branson.

"This is like the biggest hotel I've ever stayed in," he says.

Dalton, his two older brothers and parents are from Blue Springs. They get to spend three nights at the Resort, go to Silver Dollar City, Dixie Stampeded and enjoy other sights in Branson.

"Well, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have lots of fun," says Dalton. 

It's all because of a Major Don Bishop.

He started a foundation called "Major Don's Army. His charitable organization provides emotional support for children with cancer and their families.

Major Don offers, children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses all expenses paid vacations. The money comes from generous donations and gifts from area businesses.

The Burner's are the 100th family he's sponsored in the last 10 years.

"It's real tough. People don't understand it unless they have a certain family member that's affected by cancer," said Bishop.

Don, a retired Army Major is a survivor himself. In 1994 he was diagnosed with advanced stag rectal cancer. He later battled kidney cancer and vascular disease which claimed his left leg.

In February of 2010 Dalton was diagnosed with a tumor in his left calf and went through five weeks of radiation, then he had surgery to have the tumor removed it was successful. Months later new tumors appeared and Dalton underwent weeks of Chemo.

The tumors were removed and he's been cancer free since March of 2011.

"It's great to have people like Don to do wonderful things for these kids because unfortunately as we all know some of them don't make it," said Missy Dalton.

Major Don has a personality that shines. He demeanor is that of an army major but the kindness he shows to the children is undeniable. He is determined to bring moments of positive memories to the children and their families that have been and continue to go through so much.

Of the 100 brave children he's sponsored, 15 did not win battle. They are the "Foundation Angel's."

"Like the mom said, sadly that is the only bad part about doing the foundation the work that I do, is even though while they were here it was great," says Bishop.

For more information on Major Don's Army go to his website: www.majordonsarmy.org.
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