Five year old Liam Armstrong was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) in January 2010. With ALL, malignant, immature white blood cells continuously multiply and are overproduced in the bone marrow. To fight this, Liam has had to endure countless Lumbar Punctures, needles and operations. He courageously faced twenty-one months of intense chemotherapy, then relapsed this past September and is now awaiting a bone marrow transplant in January 2013.
Yet throughout all of this what is inspirational is what Liam’s Mom, Jackie, tells us: “Liam has managed to laugh and smile through it all”. My Friend Huggles saw this first hand when company president Brenda Katz visited Liam and his Mom in the hospital this December. The first thing Brenda noticed was Liam’s warm smile and gentle disposition. During her visit she was also awestruck by Liam’s resilience, and genuine optimism. He kept kissing the Huggles doll Bia and slept well that night with Bia next to him in his bed.
After Liam’s Mom contacted MFH with his story and wish for a doll, Brenda wanted to bring Liam the first My Friend Huggles boy doll, Myles, whose character value will be courage inspired by Liam’s brave fight against this challenging illness. But Liam’s mom Jackie didn’t want to wait for the boy doll’s launch this spring, She wanted a MF Huggle doll to be a friend for Liam during his lengthily hospital stay. So Brenda brought Liam My Friend Huggles’ Bia doll, whose character value is fairness. It warms our hearts that Liam’s Mom tells us Bia has comforted him and has been a companion for her brave, strong little boy.
Liam has recently had two visits to the ICU and has managed to remain cheerful through it all. He is truly an inspiration to all who know him. When asked, Liam describes himself as a champion. His Mom tells us that he loves to socialize with the nurses and share his triumphs with them. That he has a love for music, cooking shows, playing on his iPad, arts and crafts. That he puts on concerts for the whole ward! Though Liam might seem like a typical five year old with many of his interests, he is anything but. To My Friend Huggles, Liam Armstrong is a true hero. He and many children like him, that endure, that are courageous and remain cheerful through insurmountable medical obstacles remind us of many things. As Jackie says “he reminds us to be thankful for the simple things in life”. These precious kids help remind us to be thankful for each day, each moment, for love, for laughter, but most of all, for courage. Thank-you Liam—for being courageous, for sharing your time with us and thank-you Jackie—for allowing us to share your special little boy’s story.
We support you and your family.
With love & gratitude, My Friend Huggles