It’s awful when anyone has a terrible disease like leukemia, but it’s especially heartbreaking when a young child has to deal with that life and death scenario.

And that’s exactly what a 6-year-old boy named John Oliver Zippay, known as J.O., recently battled for three long years.


J.O. lives in Newbury, Ohio, and he recently completed his final found of chemotherapy. When he returned to St. Helen Catholic School, his classmates, teachers, and family welcomed him back with a heartwarming way with a standing ovation.


J.O. was diagnosed with leukemia in November 2016. His parents said, “He had a meta-port in his chest so he wasn’t able to do any physical activity for three years. So it was hard for him, had to sit back for gym class and things.”

The boy’s mother, Megan Zippay, said, “You want that for your child, to grow up and get dirty and play outside and have fun and we kept him in a bubble so we’re excited. Looking forward to the future and having our little boy back.”

Here’s the video of J.O’s return to school. You might want to have some Kleenex handy…don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Good work to all the kids, parents, and teachers who made J.O. feel so great about ending his treatment!

And good work to J.O., the little boy who faced down leukemia in a way that I’m sure many adults wouldn’t have dealt with in such a strong way.

Take care of yourselves and each out there and remember to treat everyone with respect and dignity, because you don’t know what people and families are struggling with behind closed doors.