After a three year battle with cancer, 6-year-old John Oliver Zippay, of Ohio, endured his final round of chemotherapy two days after Christmas and was welcomed back to his elementary school with open arms.
The American Cancer Society describes acute lymphocytic leukemia as an aggressive type of leukemia that forms early on in the lymphocyte white blood cell and can be fatal if it is not detected quickly.
The now-cancer survivor initially spent 18 days in the hospital before going through countless rounds of chemotherapy over the last three years.
“He had a meta-port in his chest so he wasn’t able to do any physical activity for three years,” his father, John Zippay said. “So it was hard for him, had to sit back for gym class and things.”
On Dec. 27, J.O.’s mom, Megan Zippay, shared in a public Facebook group that her son had received his last round of chemotherapy.
He got to celebrate by ringing a bell before leaving the hospital.
J.O. was given a warm welcome by his teachers and classmates on Wednesday after he was cleared to go back to school.
As he walked down the hallways of St. Helen Catholic School lined with familiar faces, he was greeted with smiles and a standing ovation.
STANDING OVATION. ??? 6-year-old John Oliver Zippay just finished his 3-year-long battle with leukemia and took his final chemo treatment. To celebrate, his entire school greeted him with a standing ovation. Beautiful moment. #Chemo #Leukemia pic.twitter.com/qbZWNYKS8e
— Josh Benson (@WFLAJosh) January 10, 2020
According to his school principal, J.O. stayed on top of his school work and never fell behind during his long battle with cancer.
“Him having to miss some of the time was tough, but the class was just so happy to see him come back,” Principal Patrick Gannon said to WJW.
The school continued his welcome back celebration with an assembly, where they presented a video showing J.O.’s fearless battle over the years.
J.O. and those who love him are excited for this new beginning and for the boy to finally experience things he’s had to miss out on in his childhood.
“He loves planes, he’s kind of an old soul, he loves WWII and all that kind of stuff so he’s really excited to be able to travel a bit more and do that kind of stuff,” family friend Shannon Formanski said.
“You want that for your child, to grow up and get dirty and play outside and have fun and we kept him in a bubble so we’re excited. Looking forward to the future and having our little boy back,” Megan Zippay said.
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