Teen battling cancer wishes for Christmas decorations in yard

Teen battling cancer wishes for Christmas decorations in yard

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico teen, who was diagnosed with cancer in September, is asking for only one thing this Christmas - to have her yard decorated.

Peyton Hougham has Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone and soft tissue cancer. Peyton first started feeling symptoms with pain in her shoulder, and shortly after starting 8th grade was given her diagnosis.

The 13-year-old is scheduled to go through 28 weeks of chemotherapy. While the last few months have been tough, she’s excited about spending the holidays with her family, at home.

“It’s pretty special,” said Catherine Hougham, Peyton’s mother. “I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to be home for Christmas.”

While one of Peyton’s Christmas wishes is to not have cancer, the other one topping her list is to see a beautiful sight out of her window.

"Peyton had made the comment that we never decorate our yard,” Hougham said. “That it would be really cool if we could decorate our yard."

Currently, leaves decorate Peyton’s yard but she’s hoping for something a bit more festive.

"I want one inflatable... one or two,” Peyton said. “They just look really cool."

The Hougham's never decorated their yard in the past, but inside is a different story.

"Mom goes crazy inside the house," Peyton said.

From snowmen, to Santa and stockings in front of the fireplace, the family is ready for Christmas.

"I like to help decorate and it's really special," Peyton said.

“I think it’s pretty awesome to have her here, and especially right now feeling as well as he does,” Hougham said.

So Hougham took to the Facebook group created for Peyton’s fight with cancer, #PrayforPey, posting a message asking for additional or old outdoor decorations people no longer use or want.

A teacher at Peyton's old elementary school, Ruby F. Carver Elementary, saw it and is now working on fulfilling it.

"I put it on my Facebook to my friends and if anyone has any outdoor decorations they’d like to share I’d be happy to take them,” said Kay Atkinson. “I’ve already had some dropped off here and at my house.”

But she needs more help from the community.

“I would love for there to be so much that her yard is decked out like you would see on one of those Christmas shows,” Atkinson said.

Through December 10, the public can drop off yard decorations at Ruby F. Carver Elementary (1801 Lauderdale Dr., Henrico).

All of this to take Peyton’s mind off cancer, which may be the best Christmas gift this year.

"I guess just look at the bright-side of things," Peyton said.

Atkinson will collect the donations and bring them over to the family in order to create a Christmas display Peyton can be proud of.

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