Max Gray has one wish for his 5th birthday: to receive a card. He has gotten several already--much to his delight.
The pre-kindergarten student from Greene County Tech will spend his birthday, September 29, receiving chemotherapy for ependymoma, a childhood brain tumor.
"Max is a fighter and a warrior for God. He was diagnosed with ependymoma in April of this year," Karen Clifford, Max's grandmother, said. "He is blessed to be in the care of such amazing doctors and nurses at St. Jude."
A tumor was discovered after Max began having issues with coordination. A tumor was found on the backside of a bone in his brain. He was diagnosed with ependymoma at Arkansas Children's Hospital and surgery was scheduled.
Since then, Max has undergone 33 radiation treatments and will start his next round of chemo on his birthday.
"That means he will have to stay at St. Jude until the end of October," Brad Gray, Max's father said. "He has lost his hair and lost weight."
Students from Greene County Tech have been sending Max cards and letters.
"We are fortunate to have a hospital like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital so close by," Gray said.
Max's parents, Brad and Abby Gray, drive back and forth a lot from their home in Light, Ark. Max also has a little sister named Shelby.
Right now, the family is staying at the Target House in Memphis.
"We are standing on our own today because of our exceptional support team at home and our good Lord above watching out for us," Abby Gray said. "We have been at St. Jude since the end of April, with a small break in June between radiation and chemotherapy."
"He looks forward each day when he is able to go to check the mail," Clifford said. "We are trying to get him as many cards in the mail as we can."
"Even if the cards are late for his birthday, it's ok," Gray said. "They give him something to do, to look at each day. They make him smile."
To send a card or letter to Max, write to:
MEMPHIS, TN (KAIT) - Max Gray
Target II, Room 421
1811 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104