12 days of healing Hunter Jones: Community rallies to help terminally ill 6-year-old boy
ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- Kindergartners, teachers, family and friends are rallying around an Issaquah six-year-old and are looking for a Christmas miracle.
They are hoping the social media campaign, "12 days of healing Hunter Jones," will save the terminally-ill kindergartner.
Hunter is like any six-year-old. He laughs, plays and goes to school.
But unlike most six-year-olds, Hunter is in the fight of his life.
"It's called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma)," Hunter's mom Krista Jones said. "Within minutes our entire world changed. We were told an average nine-month life expectancy.
It hit without warning last December when one of Hunter's eyes wasn't tracking properly.
"We were told it was a brain tumor and the worst kind of brain tumor," Krista Jones said.
His parents said only about 30 percent of kids survive a year and only 10 percent survive two years.
Hunter's only option for treatment to help shrink the tumor was 30 days of radiation.
But Hunter's parents say they have found a new treatment option in Mexico. The option isn't covered by insurance, but his parents insist the combination of drugs is shrinking his tumor.
"We are in the one place in the world where we have hope," Krista Jones said.
That hope has touched their own community. When other moms from Hunter's class learned of his story, they went into overdrive and launched 12 days of healing Hunter Jones.
The 12 days are intended to raise $120,000 and pay for a year of treatment for Hunter. As of Sunday, the gofundme has raised more than $93,000.
"We don't know what's going to happen next year or the year after," Hunter's father Brad Jones said. "We just know he is here with us today and that is all that matters to us right now."