A little boy with Down syndrome who's also battling leukemia got hundreds of cards for his third birthday Friday, and he got to sleep in his own bed for the first time in weeks.
"Freddie is loving all these presents and cards!!" his mother wrote on the child's "Team Freddie" Facebook page.
The South Carolina toddler got a fire truck escort as he returned home for a few days before starting yet another round of chemo. "It feels good to be home," his mom said.
Mom Joanne Taylor had requested birthday cards earlier this month for Freddie, who loves to dance and read with his mom. "He reads the paper," his mother told WCSC-TV. "He reads the labs that come in in the morning. So we open the cards and read them together."
Freddie was diagnosed in January with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. "We got a call that they found some abnormal cells. We had to come to the ER and he was admitted right away," his mom said.
He has just finished his fourth round of chemotherapy and is preparing for his fifth. "I guess you find a new normal. Even thought that's weird to say, because his new normal now involves fighting cancer and getting through chemotherapy," she said.
His treatment is expected to last at least two more years. He must remain cancer-free for five years before he is considered to be in remission.
The Medical University of South Carolina, where Freddie receives treatment, is so inundated with cards and presents for the toddler that his mom now asks for correspondence to be sent to a new address: Pack & Mail, Attn: Team Freddie, 1608 Camp Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29412.
"It's not just Freddie who's in this position. There's kids in every hospital, in every city, going through treatment just like Freddie is," his mother explains. "And they miss birthdays, and holidays, and families."