His latest scan in August  showed the tumors were growing again, and fast.
As he began a new round of chemo — one to stabilize his tumors in hopes that there would be a miracle drug released soon — he had one request for his mom and dad.
"Nathan has asked when we got home if we would put up our Christmas tree and our lights. He thought that would make him feel better cause he didn't feel good," his mother Dawn Norman said.
"You think ... you know what? Does it matter if people think we are crazy? Does it matter? Bobby Norman said. "Absolutely not. If this is his last Christmas and he
can spend it celebrating for four months, absolutely."
The spirit of Nathan's early Christmas, the will to heal this sick little boy is spreading.
"We have started having friends that put up their trees and outside lights and sending pictures to us," Dawn said. "Some people have designated their tree as being Nathan's tree."
Gleaning for the World showed up with a Santa's sleigh for the Norman's front yard too. It was filled with presents for the entire family.
Then, the Christmas cards started showing up, from friends, family and people they don't even know.
"Every day he goes to the mailbox and receives 20-30 cards
— Christmas cards! In September!" said Dawn. "I don't even know where people are getting Christmas cards this time of year."
"I don't think I've ever had Christmas cards in my whole life," Nathan said.
Nathan is using the occasional dollar bill he gets in one of those cards to help make Christmas bags for his fellow pediatric cancer patients at Duke.
"It was surprising because it was like, how do they know? How did they find out?" Bobby said.
That support is giving the Normans the faith to face whatever the days ahead may bring.
"If he asks us to leave it up all year we may leave it up all year because I mean in all honesty every day should be like Christmas," Bobby said. "I mean we should always have the spirit of Christmas in us."