The family of the Virginia boy who has been virtually adopted by public safety officers is making sure those people know just how much the support is helping their child's battle with cancer.
Local emergency medical services agencies granted Nathan Norman's Christmas wish to get cards from them last month.
The response has overwhelmed the Normans, who now get multiple deliveries every day. Since NBC12's story about Richmond-area first responders visiting Nathan aired, people from as far away as Washington state have contacted us, wanting to boost the little boy's spirits as he fights this deadly battle.
Any little boy would love this, but for six-year-old Nathan, it means even more. Public safety officers put together a display just for him as part of the mission to bring a smile to his face while he fights tumors in his brain and spine.
Nathan's story touched hundreds of people, but it is the actions of those people, which have touched the Normans.
"Nathan just smiled really big and said 'does that mean I'm special,'" father Bobby Norman recalled. "And I said 'absolutely, you're very special.' And all of the kids were just ecstatic about it. I ranked it right up there with being at Disney World."
A house filled with packages from public safety officers will help Nathan get through the three different kinds of chemotherapy he's currently on.
"You just can't even explain what it's like to see your child hurting and you can't do anything about it," mom Dawn told us. "It's probably the hardest thing anyone would ever have to go through."
Now, they've been shown by the kindness of strangers, they're not going through it alone.
"They are my heroes," Bobby said. "Of course, Nathan is my hero and my kids are my heroes but I've seen a side of public safety that people don't get to see."
In September, doctors told the family Nathan's spinal cord tumor had popped back out and the brain tumor started to progress again, so they put him back on chemotherapy. In the meantime, the Normans are asking people to hold off sending cards, to possibly allow Nathan to have Christmas all year long when he feels better.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics