Christmas is coming over a month early for a 4-year-old boy named Marcus “Junior” Cook in Sahuarita, south of Tucson, Arizona. Cook is battling a terminal brain tumor and is in hospice at home. His family wanted him to experience the Christmas of a lifetime. That’s when Blaire Mathias, a mother in the Rancho Community community and friend of the Cook family, put a call out to give Junior an early pop-up Christmas and birthday celebration.
“To think that he may not get to celebrate Christmas is just heart-wrenching. It hurts my mommy heart,” said Mathias.
Junior will turn 5 on December 15, so the Christmas celebration is serving as an early birthday as well as a holiday celebration.
“They got the news that the scans were not what they wanted and the doctors basically told them there’s nothing else they can do,” said Mathias.
Despite the sad news, Junior’s grandmother says that every day has been a celebration.
“Junior is always happy. He’s got this laugh,” said his grandmother, Annis Cook. “Every day has been a celebration of life.”
Community firefighters heeded the call for early Christmas and arrived to string up lights at the Cook’s home.
Battalion Chief John Walka told KGUN9 News:
“We wanted to do whatever we can as far as setting up Christmas lights, just doing anything to make his life a little bit better and to help him out before his time.”
Mayor Tom Murphy and Police Chief Noland made an appearance at the home and named Junior an Honorary Mayor and Police Chief. They proclaimed November 16, 2018 as Marcus “Junior” Cook Day.
The community put out blue lights outside their homes as a show of support for Junior, whose favorite color is blue. Hundreds of people showed up at the family’s home to join the celebration. They sand “Let it Snow!” and enjoyed a magical snowstorm.
Of course, Santa showed up to present Junior with gifts.
After the community and perfect strangers came together to help the Cook family give Junior a memorable Christmas and birthday, the best part is probably the expressions we saw on his face. He was clearly thrilled.
We wish his family and Marcus Junior Cook a Merry Christmas and offer our heartfelt thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
See the video from KGUN9 News:
Featured image: Screenshot via Facebook/Juniors Journey