Fact Check

Christmas Card Appeal: Nathan Norman

Christmas cards are requested for Nathan Norman, a 5-year-old Virginia boy with cancer.

Published Nov 28, 2012

Claim:   Christmas cards are requested for Nathan Norman, a 5-year-old Virginia boy with cancer.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2012]

Special Request for Christmas Cards

A friend of mine that is a life-saving crew member in Bedford County emailed me a request and asked for our help within the State Police family.

There is a 5 year old boy from Rustburg, Virginia that is dying of terminal cancer and he might not live to see Christmas. His special
request is to receive Christmas cards from police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel.

I would appreciate if you could take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and grant Nathan's wish by sending him a card.

Let’s show our support!

Cards can be mailed to:

Nathan Norman
81 Durivan Drive
Rustburg, Virginia 24588


Origins:   In January 2009, when he was but a year old, Nathan Norman was diagnosed with brain cancer. Unfortunately, surgery and chemotherapy have not halted the progress of the disease, which has since spread to his spine. After returning from a round of treatments in September 2012, Nathan asked his parents if they would put up a Christmas tree and Christmas lights in their home to help him feel better, and that request for an early Christmas soon prompted a flow of Christmas cards in the mail addressed to young Nathan:

His latest scan in August [2012] 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."

Nathan's supporters can read his story and a journal of his progress at the CaringBridge site and follow him on his Facebook Christmas page.

Last updated:   28 November 2012


    Evans, Danner.   "Boy Fights Cancer with the Spirit of Christmas."

    WSET-TV [Lynchburg, VA].   27 September 2012.

    Wright, Jason F.   "Inspirational Young Cancer Patient Celebrates Christmas Early."

    The Deseret News.   20 November 2012.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.