FAMILY & PARENTING

Boy Returns To School After 3-Year Battle With Leukemia, Walks Through Doors To Standing Ovation

by Amy Paige
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos, watching movies with her Muppet-like poodle mix named Cali, and doing the robot whenever possible.

John Oliver “JO” Zippay, a 6-year-old boy from Geauga County, Ohio, has already endured so much in his young life.

It all began in 2016 when he fell and hit his head on his bed’s headboard, leaving a discolored mark on his face. His parents took him to the hospital when the bruise wouldn’t go away, and doctors performed a battery of tests and eventually sent him home.

Then, in the middle of the night, the family doctor called JO’s parents and told them to take him to the emergency room immediately.

That’s when one diagnosis changed everything; JO had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

For the next three years, this brave little boy battled cancer with rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, and a treatment plan of steroids that came with horrible side effects.

But even through all the grueling hospital visits, JO kept his grades up and never let himself fall behind.

Nearly three years later, JO completed his final round of chemotherapy and beat leukemia.

It was finally time for JO’s classmates and teachers to welcome him back to St. Helen Catholic School … and as you’re about to see, he was in for a tear-jerking surprise.

Footage provided by WJW Cleveland

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