Strangers send cards to young cancer patient in Orlando
Jay Ryon was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 7 years old. (Fox 13 News.)
Jay Ryon has been fighting leukemia since 2014 – when he was 7 years old. Since then, he and his family have spent countless nights in the hospital, which is not a fun place for a kid.
Since his journey began, Jay's arm had to be amputated due to an infection. He's had a bone marrow transplant and numerous rounds to chemotherapy and surgeries.
Even amidst mounting ailments, Jay made friends at the hospital – bonding with other kids going through similar struggles.
STUDENTS ROCK PIGTAILS IN SUPPORT OF CLASSMATE WITH HEARING AID
Jay made friends with a boy named Franklin. Jay's mom said the pair wore matching glow-stick bracelets.
He made friends with a girl named Cashmere. The two tie-dyed pillowcases together and paced the halls of the hospital on New Year's Eve.
When he first came to the transplant unit, Jay met AJ and the boys would talk about Star Wars for hours. Jay even got to meet Mark Hamill, who told Jay he was the real hero.
But like the rest of Jay's life right now, his friendships are not typical for a 10-year-old. Many of his friends have died.
As Jay's mom wrote in a Facebook post to the Team Jay page, "He should be worrying about having time to play with his friends before the street lights come on, not before they die."
MIDDLE SCHOOL ATHLETE DIES AFTER SUDDEN ILLNESS AT TRACK MEET
And the reality is not lost on Jay. He told his mom he had no friends because they all died. He also lost his grandmother just a few months ago.
Meanwhile, WESH 2 News in Orlando has been following Jay since his battle with cancer began. When employees at the station heard Jay was going through an especially hard time, they decided to do something to help.
They launched the Say Hey! To Jay campaign, asking anyone touched by his story to send letters and cards letting him know he has an "an army of friends, who are with him every day, and pulling for him to get healthy."
To send Jay a letter or card, address it to "Hey to Jay” 31600 Camp Challenge Rd, Sorrento, FL 32776.
For anyone interested in things Jay likes, he's into "cat and dog videos, Disney World, the Florida Gators, unicorns, camping, tie dye and glitter," according to the Team Jay Facebook page.
This article first appeared on Fox 13 News.