An Ohio community is coming together to send 1,000 Valentine’s Day cards for this 5-year-old boy battling cancer, all in the name of love.
“Timmy’s so excited he’s going to get cards,” said Jamie Harmount, an assistant professor at the Ohio University-Chillicothe where the boy’s mother takes classes. “As of today, we have almost 900 Valentines.”
Timmy, 5, was diagnosed about three weeks ago with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. Doctors caught it after his mom, Cassandra Nelson, noticed a growth in his nose that grew at an alarming rate.
Cassandra, who was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher, realized she would have to drop out of college to take care of her son.
“She’s an excellent student,” said Harmount, who has taught the mother since she enrolled in the program last summer. “Other students around her know how much she loves coming to school.”
Timmy was also devastated to miss out on school for treatment, his dad Tobias Nelson told InsideEdition.com.
“He’s just sad he’s not at school,” Tobias said. “He’s a kid who likes to go to school. He misses his friends, and wants stuff to be normal.”
Harmount told InsideEdition.com she then thought of Valentine’s Day celebrations in the classroom, and how the kindergartener would have to miss them this year.
“Who doesn’t remember those Valentines, and boxes, and cupcakes?” Harmount explained. “Here’s a little boy who’s going to miss his first Valentine’s party.”
That’s when Harmount and her class decided they wanted to bring celebrations to him, by collecting 1,000 Valentine’s Day cards in his honor.
She explained it was important for her to take on the project because in addition to rallying behind a family in need, she thought it would be a good lesson to her students, who would soon graduate to become teachers.
“In a child’s life, their family and their community help shape who they are and you need to be able to support them,” Harmount said. “This is what we teach — to help those people who need it.”
Since they started spreading the word, Harmount said students and alumni of the school all pitched in to help. One of her current students made a mailbox by hand for the boy to collect the cards. A former student, who is now teaching her own class, have enlisted her own students to create handmade Valentines for the boy who wouldn’t be able to be at school to accept them himself.
Harmount said she hopes to be able to deliver the 1,000 cards within the next couple of days, depending on Timmy’s health.
“He’s excited,” Timmy’s dad said, who also mentioned the boy’s favorite part of the holiday is the candy.
To send him Valentine's Day wishes, address cards to the following P.O. Box, or visit his GoFundMe page:
Ohio University Chillicothe Child Development Center
Attn: Jamie Harmount
101 University Drive
Chillicothe, OH 45601