For one Ohio boy, Christmas is coming early — and he wants you to celebrate with him.
On the advice of doctors and hospice, the family of 10-year-old Andrew Peck of Portsmouth, Ohio will be celebrating Christmas in November. Peck, who goes by the nickname “Hollywood,” has suffered from Leukodystrophy, a degenerative brain disease.
“They asked us if we would be comfortable celebrating Christmas early this year, because he isn’t doing well,” grandmother Annette Peck told the Portsmouth Daily Times. “We are celebrating it all month. Family is coming in and we are hoping to combine it with Thanksgiving to get everyone involved. It just depends on his health, really.”
Hollywood has just one item on his Christmas wish list: cards.
Hollywood has loved getting mail since he was a little kid, whether it was a big package or a birthday card. So when it came time for Christmas last year, his answer came as no shock to his grandmother.
“I looked at him and said, ‘What do you really want for Christmas?’ He said, ‘Birthday cards,’” Annette Peck said.
In May for his 10th birthday, Hollywood asked for the same thing. Family friend Mike Bell went to Facebook and asked friends to share his story and send Hollywood as many cards as possible. The campaign worked, and Hollywood has since received over 9,000 cards and letters.
Though it has been months since his birthday, cards from across the world continue to fill up the Pecks’ mailbox. Hollywood has received cards from as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom.
“People have even been sending him Halloween cards. He just giggles, as it brightens up his little day,” Annette Peck said. “The support has just been amazing.”
Annette Peck said that Hollywood doesn’t have a specific favorite card, but he does enjoy cards with sound and personal messages. He also cherishes the homemade cards his friends have sent him.
“We tell him, ‘This person colored this just for you,’ and he just lights up. It’s just awesome,” Annette Peck said.
With his health deteriorating, Hollywood’s family wants to make his Christmas even better than his birthday. He recently got to take a ride in the Batmobile with Batman, which gave him the chance to drive by his old school and see his friends.
It’s hard to top becoming a superhero for a day, but more Christmas cards couldn’t hurt.
Christmas cards for Andrew “Hollywood” Peck can be sent to G Box 46, Portsmouth Daily Times, PO Box 581, Portsmouth, OH 45662.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.