THUNDER BAY -- Suzanne Hanlon knowns her grandson is special.
Her grandson, two-year-old Hunter Fernyc, is currently battling a severe immune disorder but she believes he has it in him to persevere.
"He is the most energetic, happiest kid I have ever met. She gives hugs and kisses to everybody and I want him to be better and come home," she said through tears on Sunday.
Keeping with his warm spirit, family and friends organized a Hugs for Hunter gathering at Prince Arthur's Landing as a show of support and to provide strength to the little guy and his parents.
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Hunter was diagnosed in late May with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare disorder where hyper-aggressive white blood cells damage internal organs as well as other white blood cells.
He is receiving treatment in London, Ont. where his parents Mike and Jessica are staying with him.
Amanda Moffett, who is best friends with Jessica, said the support shown from the community has "overwhelmed" Hunter's parents.
She said Hunter is currently undergoing chemotherapy, which is starting to have a positive impact on slowing down his immune system.
"We are seeing progress," Moffett said. "We're still seeing how he is on a day-to-day basis. They don't want to go any further than that but progress is more than we could hope for."
Hanlon said he still has the positive energy she remembers.
"This morning I got a video of him laying in bed but kicking his feet and moving his arms and singing. He looked happy. It was the first time I've seen him so happy in weeks," she said.
"I was there in London when we first went down there and it was devastating. It broke all of our hearts to see him like that."
To raise funds Hugs for Hunter bracelets and t-shirts are available for sales and donations are being accepted. A benefit will also be held in September. More information be found on their Facebook group.
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