Community celebrates drug maker's decision to help boy - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Community celebrates drug maker's decision to help Fredericksburg boy

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A Fredericksburg boy with a potentially deadly virus will be part of a drug trial that could save his life.

As 7-year-old Josh Hardy battles the virus from his hospital bed in Tennessee, his loved ones in Virginia are celebrating a drug company's decision to help.

All throughout the town of Fredericksburg there are sighs of relief that Josh now has a fighting chance.

"When Aimee called me last night and told me the news I just screamed. I was so excited," Josh's grandmother Mae Staton said.

She and the rest of the family learned Tuesday night Josh will be part of a drug trial for a medication to combat a virus contracted after a bone marrow transplant. 

"We had basically, I guess you can say, given up. We did not think we were going to get the drug," Staton said.

Their fight to get approval has gone nationwide. More than 24,000 have logged on to a Facebook support page. There numerous people are expressing gratitude.

Even Josh's school is cheering.

"A joyous day, yes it is," said his principal Marjorie Tankersley.

Even though one desk is empty in his classroom, all of his classmates just want to see him pull through.

"They're continuously writing him notes, drawing pictures for him, they Skype with him," Tankersley said.

At Foode's Restaurant, managers offered free hamburgers at lunch time Tuesday and discounts for customers who signed petitions asking the drug maker to release the drug. More than 800 people signed. Now, there's no longer a need to deliver those letters.

"God is with us and saw us through this," Tankersley said.

Josh has missed several months of school but he's completing his assignments at home. That means, he's on track to be promoted to the second grade when he's able to return to class next year.

Wednesday, four teachers from Josh's school even took off from work to speak with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They wanted the government to get involved in helping with the treatment. That's before they found out the good news.

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