Family hopes 'Nickels for Nicholas' can add up to help a boy in need

ROY, Wash. -- As families around the world waited for a visit from St. Nicholas, a boy in Roy and his family is waiting for answers to their prayers.

Between loving from big sister, raspberries from brother Christopher, kisses from grandma, and mom's silent sacrifices, 7-year-old Nicholas Cunningham is encircled in affection.

"He can roll on his back, to his side or stomach, that's about it," said his mother Debbie Cunningham. "He's 24-7 care."

Nicholas suffers Leigh's Syndrome -- a muscle disorder with a laundry list of symptoms from seizures to developmental delays. Debbie Cunningham borrows cars to drive him to the doctor.

"Financially we got strapped about four years ago and it got repossessed and I haven't had a vehicle since," she said.

Nicholas weighs 52 pounds and is getting longer and tougher for mom to carry.

He's nearly outgrown his car seat and his mom struggles with the stroller squeezed into grandma's trunk. A wheelchair van is on her holiday wish list but out of her wallet's reach.

"I actually have a really good support group, my kids are a huge help," she said.

His sister sometimes gets him dressed, changes his diaper or feeds him. Christopher lugs around the feeding tube.

And friends are pitching in too, placing collection jars around Eatonville in the pharmacy, feed store and restaurants, collecting nickels for Nicholas -- a child whose future is unknown but who gives his family a gift every day.

"I can't look at the future, what if, what if," Debbie Cunningham said "I just take care of him."

For more information on how you can help Nicholas and his family you can check out their Facebook page "Nickels for Nicholas".