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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Strong Like Hudson campaign heads into year 5

Razorback athletes to join the cause

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — The "Strong Like Hudson" campaign honors Hudson Lais, the son of Arkansas men's golf associate head coach Barrett Lais. 

Barrett and his wife Jessica lost their son when he was just five years old. Hudson had a formal diagnosis of severe Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy.

"He would go through really painful procedures and surgery after surgery, and he had a lot of seizures. Doctors and nurses and any hospital staff were always commenting about his attitude," said Jessica Lais.

This year Hudson would have turned 10-years-old. Since his passing, the Lais family has made Hudson's birthday a day of celebration instead of sorrow.

The family began spreading "happy" or small acts of kindness to strangers in the area. The couple says providing happiness to someone else honors the joy Hudson carried with him.

"When people are doing these acts of kindness and we hear these random stories about how one of the happys made somebody's day with no affiliation to us, it makes us feel good and it's an awesome way to honor Hudson," said Barrett Lais.

This idea quickly grew in the Lais family, and before they knew it, they had family and friends taking part in the yearly tradition. To participate, all you have to do is print out a card from the families' website and take a picture with it when you complete your act of kindness.

"His attitude was always just loving, and I know we keep saying happy, but he was. He was truly a joyful human being so this really does embody his spirit," said Jessica Lais.

When you put your picture on social media with the hashtag #StrongLikeHudson, the post will appear on the site. This year you can expect to see many Arkansas athletes joining in on the fun. 

The event will take place on Saturday, February 13th, Hudson's birthday. 

In 2020 the campaign raised over 30 thousand dollars to help grant the wish of a family in need. The Lais family said they couldn't ask for a better way to honor their son.

"When Jessica and I talk about Hudson, it always seems like we talk about his laugh and his smile. It's one of the main things we remember, and it always puts a smile on our face," said Barrett Lais.