An 8-year-old Virginia boy who received an experimental drug that saved his life celebrated the medical miracle with his family at the Verizon Center Thursday night.
The difficult journey the boy has endured could lead to help for other patients in the future.
Josh Hardy is still dealing with complications, but he had a very special time with the Washington Wizards. The 8-year-old, his parents and his three brothers marked the major milestone with a rare trip out to the basketball arena.
"Just being us, we're ready to go out and do a lot of things together, so this is huge," said Aimee Hardy.
She spent much of 2014 in with her son, Josh, at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee.
He battled cancer on and off since he was a baby, and after complications from a bone marrow transplant, he contracted a deadly virus. The only possible cure was a drug still in the trial phase, but the company, Chimerix, wouldn't provide it.
Their Fredericksburg, Va., community rallied behind the cause and prayers were answered when the company worked with the Food and Drug Administration to find a solution to get Josh the medication.
And it worked! Fast forward one year and Josh will tell you that "It's an awesome day."
The Hardys were invited to sit courtside as the Wizards warmed up for their game.
One after one, Bradley Beal, John Wall and Kris Humphries all stopped by to say hello and sign autographs. Marcin Gortat also had an extra surprise for Josh -- his wristbands.
It was an exciting day for this remarkable little boy. The road to recovery has been a long one, but he has made amazing progress.
"We're still a little limited with the immune system, but these moments are great," said his mother.
Josh's struggle has led to right-to-try legislation for critically ill patients in Virginia, which is right now on the governor's desk awaiting approval. Aimee hopes it will help other families in the same situation.
"Keep the faith, don't stop asking," she told us. "There is no way we would be here today as happy as we are if we hadn't have done all the things we did."
Josh is still being homeschooled with hopes of possibly heading back to school in the fall.
The family spent so much time at the hospital in Tennessee that Josh is also a huge Memphis Grizzlies fans. As fate would have it, they were the team the Wizards were playing on Thursday night.