Boy Fights Cancer With the Spirit of Christmas

Rustburg, VA - The scrap book of Nathan Norman's life is filled with his battle against cancer, a fight that started in January of 2009 when he was just a year old.

His mother Dawn Norman remembers everything about that day.

"At 5:30 in the afternoon we received the call.{} It's never good when the doctor's office calls you after hours.{} He just kept saying on the phone there's been an abnormality, I'm so sorry there's been an abnormality, Dawn Norman remembered. "I said, 'Are you saying our son has cancer?'"

It started off as brain cancer then progressed and now he has a tumor in his spine too.{} Surgery and chemo haven't cured Nathan.{}{}

His latest scan in August showed the tumors are growing again, and fast.

As he begins a new round of chemo - one to stabilize his tumors in hopes that there is a miracle drug released soon - he had one request for his mom and dad.

"Nathan has asked when we got home if we would put up our Christmas tree and our lights.{} He thought that would make him feel better cause he didn't feel good," Dawn said.

"You think ... you know what?{} Does it matter if people think we are crazy? Does it matter?{} Bobby Norman said. "Absolutely not.{} If this is his last Christmas and he can spend it celebrating for four months, absolutely."

The spirit of Nathan's early Christmas, the will to heal this sick little boy is spreading.

"We have started having friends that put up their trees and outside lights and sending pictures to us," Dawn said. "Some people have designated their tree as being Nathan's tree."

Gleaning for the World showed up with a Santa's sleigh for the Norman's front yard too. It was filled with presents for the entire family.

Then, the Christmas cards started showing up, from friends, family and people they don't even know.

"Every day he goes to the mailbox and receives 20-30 cards - Christmas cards! In September!" said Dawn. "I don't even know where people are getting Christmas cards this time of year."

"I don't think I've ever had Christmas cards in my whole life," Nathan said.

Nathan is using the occasional dollar bill he gets in one of those cards to help make Christmas bags for his fellow pediatric cancer patients at Duke.

"It was surprising because it was like, how do they know? How did they find out?" Bobby said.

That support is giving the Norman's the faith to face whatever the days ahead may bring.

"When you ask Nathan are you scared he'll say, 'No, God is with me.'{} His sister asked him, 'Nathan are you scared you might got see Jesus soon?' As a mom I'm saying no. No one is going to see Jesus.{} Everybody is staying here. We'll see Jesus when we are old," Dawn said. "But Nathan said no he is not scared to see Jesus he would just miss Mommy and Daddy."

"As a parent you grieve over the path God has chosen for you.{} After this third progression he has had for two weeks I couldn't get through the day without bursting into tears," Dawn admitted. "But you have to move on and you have to enjoy the day."

"We are enjoying what we have and what we know right now and what we have today is Christmas on September 26, 2012," Dawn said.

"If he asks us to leave it up all year we may leave it up all year because I mean{} in all honesty every day should be like Christmas," Bobby said.{} "I mean we should always have the spirit of Christmas in us."

Send Christmas cards to:

Nathan Norman81 Dunivan DriveRustburg, VA 24588

To help out the Norman family, click here.

To join Nathan's Christmas Facebook page, click here.

If you know a family whose child is fighting cancer, here are some ideas on how to help them out without spending a dime.

  • Mow the lawn/help with yard work
  • Babysit the children so Mom & Dad can have a "date"
  • Help clean the house
  • Pick up and wash laundry
  • Cooking a meal for the family (this is so much nicer than just a gift card to a restaurant/most families have to eat out so much anyway and having a home cooked meal can be a blessing.)
  • Pick up children from school
  • Host a sleepover for any siblings
  • Help coordinate local fundraising