Community spreads Christmas cheer for boy with terminal cancer

Posted at 5:03 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 18:03:32-05

By Heather Janssen 

SAHUARITA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Christmas came early for a young Sahuarita boy on Thursday.

It was a sight to see in iIIIhis little neighborhood.

People spent the day decorating the home of 4-year-old Marcus ‘Junior’ Cook for Christmas, 40 days early. Junior is battling a brain tumor and is in hospice at home. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Doctors recently told his parents there was nothing more that could be done to help him.

"That he may not get to celebrate Christmas is just heart-wrenching. It hurts my mom heart," said Blaire Mathias, who coordinated the event.

"Junior is... always happy. He's got this laugh," his grandma Annis Cook said. "Every day has been a celebration of life."

Thursday was an even bigger celebration.

"Maybe I watch too many Hallmark movies, I don't know. I just thought - let's make this town - if anyone can do it our town can," said Mathias, who coordinated a group that made Christmas pop up in a day. "This is a little boy. We all have kids. Being in that situation - you know, what can we do to help?"

Mathias wanted to do something to make Junior's Christmas a little brighter.

The community responded in a big way.

Rural Metro and Green Valley firefighters went the extra mile to string the lights. Some people who didn't even know the Cook family came out to show support, including Amanda Kushman - whose father had cancer.

"Sometimes they have good days, sometimes have bad days," Kushman said. Knowing firsthand, she wanted to do anything she could to make this day one of the good ones.

Junior was out with family and friends at a special showing of the Grinch in Green Valley as everyone was decorating.

He traveled in style, in a limo.

As he got home to see all the work, his facial expressions spoke volumes.

His smile showed the excitement as he noticed each and every decoration.

"To just step away from that and have a little moment - that's worth it," said Mathias.

It was a moment Junior's grandma said meany the world to the Cook family.

"We never would have been able to do this without all these people," she said.

Junior's favorite color is blue.

Mathias asked if you have any kind of blue light -- put it outside to let him know you’re thinking of him.

You can donate to the family HERE.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.