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Now on Day 13 of his first chemotherapy cycle, Jack's energy is still in full swing. His steroid treatments are even increasing his energy levels, Debbie said, and Jack spends his days running around Omega Seamaster 43.5
Community rallies for Nashua boy with leukemia
But, starting next week, the chemo treatments will likely rob Jack of much of his energy, as well as his fiery red hair.
Diagnosed as a baby with Down syndrome, Jack's developmental and communication skills are limited. And so, thankfully, is his understanding of the challenges ahead, according to his mother.
Looking forward, Jack will have to complete two more chemo cycles over the next two years to keep the cancer at bay, but those treatments will be less harmful, allowing the family to remain at home. And Jack should be ready to return to school next fall, Debbie said.
friends and family and nurses all in tow.
Both parents know harder days are ahead.
The family initially reported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, but after several hours, nurses transferred Jack to Children's, where he has been treated for years, undergoing two hip surgeries, among other procedures.
"That was Black Friday," Debbie said somberly. "That will always have a different meaning to us now."
Meanwhile, support from the Nashua community is further aiding the family's fight.
floor of the Boston hospital. So far, the family has collected nearly $2,500 in donations to help with travel expenses, among others associated with Jack's treatment. Donors have offered items such as an iPhone and a Kindle reader, as well, and charity groups like the Make A Wish Foundation have inquired about future contributions.
Thanks and gratitude shine clearly through Debbie's eyes as she gazes around the room, on the sixth Omega Watches Diamonds
Always full of energy, Jack wasn't as playful at the beginning of the process, his mother said.
Debbie and her husband, Tom, first took notice of Jack's ills in the days before Thanksgiving when they found him pointing uncomfortably to his chest and back. After speaking with the family's pediatrician throughout the week, they brought him in for blood tests on Wednesday, Nov. 24, and two days later, the test results returned showing signs of leukemia.
"It's not just a monthlong thing. . We're hoping this will help them through the whole two year process," said Kristy Ostrowski, a Nashua resident and family friend who has helped to organize the fundraisers.
"The prognosis is very good," she said. "We're very optimistic."
But, for every card that arrives offering well wishes from friends and family back home, another comes from a new friend the 6 year old has yet to meet.
"He gets his face painted. He gets to see clowns," she said with a laugh. "He thinks this is fairy tale land. I hope it stays like this."
Jack, a Nashua resident and kindergartner at Main Dunstable Elementary, first arrived Nov. 26 at Children's Hospital in Boston, hours after he was diagnosed with leukemia. And in the two weeks since, not a day has passed without cards, letters and well wishes arriving from friends and strangers alike from all corners of the country.
BOSTON Greeting cards cover the walls of Jack Christianson's hospital room like wallpaper.
"I feel like being here before has made us more prepared for this," Debbie said Wednesday. "(Jack's) very comfortable."
"I'm not looking forward to that," said Debbie, also a redhead, running her hands lovingly through his hair. "I'm going to be mad if this goes away and comes back black."
the hospital with Omega Seamaster Broad Arrow
Now two weeks later, Debbie and Tom trade nights at the hospital, while the other stays home with their 3 year old daughter Haley. But Jack has yet to leave.
"I've never seen one family get so much mail in my entire life. You're a lucky boy, Jack," Kelly Varney, Jack's nurse, said Wednesday as she delivered a new haul of mail.
"I don't know this person. I don't know them. . These cards have been coming in from all over," Jack's mother, Debbie Christianson, said as she sorted through cards from Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona, among other places. "We can handle the leukemia. It's this incredible outpouring of support that has amazed us."
With any luck, however, the first round of chemo treatments will be complete within three weeks, leaving the cancer in remission, and Jack can return home to Nashua by mid January, Debbie said.
Now in his second week in the hospital, Jack is in the midst of his first chemotherapy cycle, and he receives daily steroid treatments. But, with toys and visitors surrounding him at all times, he sees the hospital more as a playground.
Toward the back of the room, Batman, Spongebob and other "Get Well" cards line the window, and homemade drawings from Jack's Nashua classmates circle his bed.
But, Jack has had trouble expressing his thanks.
"Ha. I caught him. He's really fast, " Varney, the nurse, said Wednesday, catching her breath as she returned Jack to his hospital room.
In addition to the greeting cards and monetary donations, friends in Nashua have organized a charity run Sunday in Chelmsford, Mass. The proceeds, to come from a suggested $10 donation, will go to the family. Friends are also Omega Blue Chronograph selling elastic bracelets baring the words "Fighting for Jack," to raise funds.
"With his age, with the Downs, he doesn't understand what's going on," Debbie said Wednesday as Jack darted playfully around the hospital floor.
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