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Holiday

Christmas a respite for Fayetteville family

Posted December 26, 2011
Updated December 27, 2011

— For a Fayetteville family fighting two cancer diagnoses, the Christmas season is a chance at normalcy. Collin and Patrick Henry are just two little boys, laughing and playing with their Xbox 360.

Kathleen Henry knows the struggle of year-round care-giving. Her son, Collin, now 5, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2. Then in October 2010, cancer also struck his brother Patrick, now 7. It was hepatoblastoma, a rare childhood cancer that originates in the liver.

Patrick's cancer was high-risk. There were tear-filled treatments at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital at UNC. "Patrick's doing great," his mom said.

Collin's cancer went into remission and even his doctors were not worried about him, Kathleen Henry said.

Then, in August, he had a relapse. "It's like a slap in the face," Kathleen Henry said.

For awhile, he had to undergo steroid-pulse therapy. Now he's back to making weekly trips to the UNC hospital, enduring spinal tap treatments and chemotherapy.

After a recent trip to the hospital, the family came home to find that Christmas had come in the form of an anonymous gift-giver.

Henry family of Fayetteville Generosity eases family's cancer burden

"There were six boxes of gifts on the front porch and on Christmas Eve, three more boxes," Kathleen Henry said.

Presents came from strangers in distant places. "We had them come from Rhode Island, Missouri, Florida, Pennsylvania," she said.

 Also Christmas Eve, a $100 check arrived from a man in Cary.

For Patrick and Collin, the cornucopia yields just one conclusion. "Best Christmas ever," the boys exclaimed.

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  • jcrew1979 Dec 27, 5:33 p.m.

    Amen tiggerjd3!! I am so glad to see a story about people doing something good instead of reading a story about drugs or shooting. It's nice to know angels are around, esp in times like this. God bless these angels and these little boys and their families.

  • MudLife Dec 27, 5:11 p.m.

    Tiggerjd3 you said it best. Glad someone gave these gifts to these lttle boys so they would have a very good Christmas. You don't have to know the people and they give you things. I listened to the 94.7QDR station through Christmas and all the families that were in need gave to people they didn't know so children could have a nice Christmas. I hope they continue to do better and hope their cancer goes away for good. Prayers to the family. And their in good hands at UNC Childrens hospital.

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Dec 27, 5:07 p.m.

    Wow... That is truly awesome to hear.

    I know for a fact that there are caring people out there. I lost my husband in July 2009, and was left to raise my four kids alone. The week before Christmas 2009, I received a card with $300 in it, with no name or address on it. I also received a card with a return address, but no name that had $25 gift cards for each of my kids, and a $50 gift card for me. I was truly touched by the love that strangers passed along. We sent a thank you/merry christmas card to the one with an address, but we have no idea who they were.

    I have since than paid it forward several times, and love to help others when I can, but with the economy like it is now, it's hard raising the four kids, with one income, and trying to help others. All I can do for this family is send out my prayers and thoughts to better days.

    Happy Holidays to all!!!

  • westernwake1 Dec 27, 4:31 p.m.

    My prayers are with these two young men and their family. It is great to hear that someone reached out to help them have an excellent Christmas.

  • sabby06 Dec 27, 4:26 p.m.

    tiggerjd3, you took the words right out of my mouth

  • maz6123 Dec 26, 7:48 p.m.

    My prayers are with this family, and others in crisis. Bless the "mystery" Santa's!

  • tiggerjd3 Dec 26, 7:34 p.m.

    I am glad to know that there are still people out there that care enough for 2 sick little boys to help provide them with christmas. I cannot imagine what this family is going through, and the expenses it takes to care for sick children. God Bless these people, and to the ones that help. This is what makes Christmas special! It is better to give then receive!! I am praying that these two angels will be healed from cancer!!!