This 6-year-old boy from Ohio had his family, classmates, and teachers celebrating with him as he completed his final round of chemo treatment.
John Oliver Zippay, also known as J.O., was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on November 1, 2016. Two days after Christmas, the brave child underwent his final round of chemo treatment.
Having won the toughest battle of his young life, John’s family, classmates, and teachers took time out to celebrate with him.
In a video captured of the heartwarming moment, John can be seen walking down the hallway of St. Helen Catholic School in Newbury. As he entered, the crowd greeted him with cheers and applause. At the end of the line of students, he meets his mom, Megan Zippay, who gives him a big hug.
The look of genuine excitement and happiness can be seen on everyone’s faces as they saw John, who also can’t help but smile as he walked past the cheering crowd.
The celebration continued with an entire assembly for the boy, where a video montage highlighting his triumphant journey towards beating leukemia played.
John spent 18 days in the hospital after his diagnosis. For several years, he underwent chemotherapy treatment. The past three years have been difficult for his whole family, but now that it’s all over, his parents say that their son is doing much better.
“He’s doing great,” his dad, John Zippay, told Cleveland’s FOX 8. “He’s feeling better. A lot of his side effects over the years involved his legs from the steroids and he’s doing great.”
“He had a meta-port in his chest so he wasn’t able to do any physical activity for three years. So it was hard for him, had to sit back for gym class and things,” he continued.
Despite his condition, John never fell behind on academics, according to Principal Patrick Gannon. “Him having to miss some of the time was tough, but the class was just so happy to see him come back,” he told FOX 8.
Shannon Formanski, a family friend, is the one who organized the celebration for John. “He loves planes, he’s kind of an old soul, he loves WWII and all that kind of stuff so he’s really excited to be able to travel a bit more and do that kind of stuff,” she said.
This boy is getting a fresh start in life, and his parents couldn’t be any happier now that their son will finally get to live a normal life.
“You want that for your child, to grow up and get dirty and play outside and have fun and we kept him in a bubble so we’re excited. Looking forward to the future and having our little boy back,” Megan said.
Watch the video below to see how John’s classmates and teachers celebrated with him.
Congratulations on beating cancer, John!