FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Doctors say this is probably the last Christmas he will celebrate. Now, a community is rallying together to help a young boy have the Christmas he always wanted.
Christmas for the Mott family is anything but ordinary this year.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is 8-year-old Ryan Mott's favorite Christmas movie. For two days, teachers and students at Grafton Village Elementary School came to his Fredericksburg home with handmade Grinch decorations to build the town of Whoville.
"He was perfectly fine and then had symptoms for two days,” said Ryan’s mother, Michelle Mott.
On his last day of second grade, Ryan’s mother thought he had an ear infection after he complained of double vision and balance issues.
"For a doctor to come to you and tell you that your child has cancer, it's devastating,” she said.
Ryan has a rare type of brain cancer known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).
“It’s a rare brain tumor and it’s very aggressive,” said Michelle Mott. “Most kids live nine to 12 months. There is no survival rate. You can’t operate. There is no cure.”
Since the diagnosis, Ryan has started a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and his family has been on a mission -- getting him healthy and making memories.
Santa Claus along with four Marines from Quantico, Virginia, had a special delivery for Ryan. It was complete with a fire truck and dozens of presents. But the best gift of all came a few days ago.
“Stressful day, you're waiting for the news and [his doctor] came in and she was ecstatic,” his mother said. “She said there's dramatic shrinkage. He had cysts -- they were smaller. He had brain swelling that was gone.”
For Ryan, his two brothers and parents, there is no time to stop and dwell on the negatives.
“He's going to be our miracle,” she said. “There is always a first for everything. He will be the first one to survive. We are going to spread awareness. We are going to find a cure.”