This brave toddler, who is battling a rare brain cancer, has received more than 300 cards from strangers determined to make the little lad’s second birthday one to remember.
Parents-of-two Gemma Spicer, 28, and John Grattan, 27, were left stunned when hundreds of birthday cards for their son Jacob Spicer-Grattan, who turned two on August 16, started flooding through their letterbox.
John’s sister Jade Barrett, 30, launched a Facebook appeal on August 13 for cards as a surprise for her nephew Jacob who suffers from choroid plexus carcinoma – a rare brain cancer that has stopped responding to chemotherapy.
Jacob spent his birthday afternoon smiling from ear to ear among mountains of brightly coloured envelopes, which his brother Harley Spicer-Grattan, four, helped him open.
The touching gesture from so many people all over the world has left nursery nurse Gemma and her fiancé John, a self-employed tradesman, overwhelmed by people’s generosity.
Gemma from Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey, said: ‘I didn’t know Jade was going to put out an appeal.
‘The night before I’d been speaking to her and I said ‘we don’t even known if Jacob will be here for his birthday next year’.
‘Now his cancer has stopped reacting to treatments, they can’t give us a timescale.
‘So Jade decided to put out the post on Facebook and she texted us about it. We never expected this kind of response at all, we’ve ended up with more than 300 cards. It’s amazing.
‘And it’s not just from people who know us or people in our village, they’ve come from all over the world. It's completely overwhelming.
‘When I woke Jacob up on his birthday he kept saying ‘birthday, birthday’. He was so excited. We went for breakfast as a family and then to the park.
‘Then Jacob was worn out because it was only three days since he had his last chemo. He had a sleep and then in the afternoon he sat and opened the cards and Harley helped so he felt really special too.’
Along with cards and offers of family days out, one anonymous stranger even had a star named after Jacob.
As the inspiring tot is due to go in for surgery on August 27 and was still recovering from chemotherapy, Jacob will have a proper birthday party on September 16 when he’s feeling better.
In his short life Jacob has undergone eight surgeries, 11 rounds of chemotherapy, around 20 blood transfusions and 15 platelet transfusions in a desperate bid to cure his cancer.
‘We are all physically and emotionally exhausted but waking up and seeing Jacob’s smile is a huge help.
‘His outlook on life and his positivity after all he’s been through makes you get up and carry on and try to make a normal life for him.
‘We do have to think about him not being here one day.
‘And the days out people have offered us, the star someone has named after him and all the cards, they will be treasured memories to hold on to if, God forbid, anything happens to him.’
The family are also fundraising to take Jacob to Disney and any money they don't use will be donated to supporting other families coping with brain cancer.