An 11-year-old British boy with terminal cancer is getting an early visit from Santa Claus out of fears he may not live until Dec. 25, his family said.
Oliver Brown, of Devon, was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) when he was eight years old. The condition affects a person’s bone marrow by inhibiting its ability to produce enough “functioning blood cells,” per Medical News Today.
MDS is a type of cancer. The condition is more common in older adults and is rare: Cancer.Net estimates there are 10,000 people diagnosed with MDS each year in the U.S.
Oliver (left), pictured here with his brother, has undergone two bone marrow transplants.
Oliver has undergone two bone marrow transplants and has received other treatments, but his condition has worsened to the point that his family is concerned he may not live until Christmas — a holiday the 11-year-old “loves,” his father said. As a result, the boy’s family decided to celebrate a bit early this year.
“In our minds, he made it to Christmas 2019,” said Oliver’s father Mike.
“We decided to bring it forward for him and Benjamin, to enjoy together. In our minds, he made it to Christmas 2019,” the boy’s father, Mike, 39, told South West News Service (SWNS) of Oliver and his brother.
“He loves Christmas, so it’s the right thing for us all.”
“It’s the right thing for us all,” Oliver’s dad said of the early decorations.
The family’s home is now decked out in Christmas decorations, including lights, fake snowmen, and more.
The outside of the family’s home is currently decorated with lights and Christmas decorations.
“We have the lights up, the tree is up inside, we have the Lego winter village all made. The only thing missing is a real Christmas tree, but the place we always buy it from doesn’t start selling them until November 17,” Mike said.
Oliver’s parents Nicky and Mike, said they decided to bring Christmas “forward” for Oliver and his brother, so they can spend the holiday together.
“We’re using a live tree at the moment and a fake one in the lounge — but everything else is up like it’s Christmas. The Christmas movies are on, the Christmas songs are playing,” he continued. “I’m sure there have been a few people driving past thinking, ‘but it’s October.’ It is — but we’re having Christmas now.”
Earlier this year, Oliver’s life-long wish of becoming a police officer was fulfilled when he spent the day with officers in the English city of Exeter, per SWNS.