Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County - A single dad in Wilkes-Barre is hoping to make this Christmas extra special for his son. Seven-year-old Collin Manheim has been fighting cancer for five years and this December he will celebrate his first Christmas at home, as well as a huge milestone in his recovery.
Meeting Collin Manheim, you would never guess what this energetic seven year old has endured. When Collin was just two he was diagnosed with leukemia. After four grueling years of chemotherapy, he was considered in remission. But in August of 2011, during a routine check up, doctors realized Collin's cancer had spread. Three different types of the deadly disease were found in his bone marrow.
Mark Manheim, Collin's dad says, "At that point the doctors gave me a 30 percent chance that he would make it."
Collins' body could no longer tolerate chemotherapy and doctors said his only hope was through a core blood stem cell transplant, "It was donor blood from an umbilical cord. They harvested stem cells and gave it to him."
Fast forward to Today, Collin is a walking miracle. Mark says, "He has been cancer free for one year now the hard part starts."
The chemotherapy has wreaked havoc on Collin's body. He still can't do things other children take for granted. Here is what Collin says he looks forward to when he is better, "Well, go to the movies, watch movies in the theatre."
Collin's dad is hoping to make this Christmas extra special. Not only will it be his first Christmas not spent in a hospital bed but December marks one year since the transplant that saved his life. Mark is asking for people to send Collin a simple greeting card in the mail, "Let him know that there are other people behind you, keep fighting!"
Collin may only be seven but he knows December 21st marks a huge milestone in his road to recovery.
Mark plans to give Collin all the cards on December 21st, the one year anniversary of his transplant. If you want to send a card to Collin you can mail it to : Collin Manheim 50 Custer Street Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702