Around this time of the year, there are two types of people. There are those who start singing “Jingle Bell Rock” on November 1 and begin decking the halls for Christmas and then there are those who scold them for jumping the gun. The Peck family was part of a third group, however. They began the celebration of Christmas on November 1, but for an entirely different reason.
Under the recommendation of doctors and Hospice, they have decided to celebrate the holiday throughout the entire month of November, to ensure Andrew “Hollywood” Peck can get his visit from Santa and, of course, receive his holiday favorite— Christmas cards.
“They asked us if we would be comfortable celebrating Christmas early this year, because he isn’t doing well,” Grandmother Annette Peck explained. “We are celebrating it all month. Family is coming in and we are hoping to combine it with Thanksgiving to get everyone involved. It just depends on his health, really.”
Local inspiration, hero, and celebrity, Hollywood has been fighting Leukodystrophy.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Leukodystrophy refers to progressive degeneration of the white matter of the brain due to imperfect growth or development of the myelin sheath, the fatty covering that acts as an insulator around nerve fiber.”
Peck became well-known for his big smile and his love of receiving mail on his most recent birthday, which he celebrated on May 18, when he turned 10.
Mike Bell, friend of the family, made it known to the internet and media outlets that Peck’s favorite thing was to receive cards and they began pouring in.
“Andrew is a special young man to a lot of folks in our community,” Bell said. “He has touched many lives in one way or another. Even through difficult times, he always has a smile for everyone. Hollywood loves people and you can see it through his captivating personality. He has always been an inspiration to me. When you have a bad day, think about the trials that Hollywood endures each and everyday but still smiles and loves life. Hollywood will always be a part of my family.”
Heroes4Higher, of Huntington, even called on Batman and Captain America to visit him on his birthday to make him an honorary superhero.
His birthday was a hit. The young hero received well over 9,000 cards. Annette Peck said that Hollywood lit up with each card. She said that he even continues to get about two or three a week. He has received cards from every state and many, many countries.
“People have even been sending him Halloween cards. He just giggles, as it brightens up his little day,” Annette Peck said. “The support has just been amazing.”
The family is now asking for people to send him Christmas cards, because they believe it could make November the most important Christmas of his life.
“It has been wonderful so far and the spirit is just flowing,” Annette Pack said. “The neighbors have all been putting up decorations for him and it has just been awesome. He has touched so many lives that it is something else.”
Annette Peck asked that no one buy Hollywood any presents, because she feels he gets the most out of receiving cards.
“He already has anything and everything he could ever want, including his family and friends,” Annette Peck said. “I mean, as far as presents go, if someone really wants to buy Christmas presents, we prefer for them to donate them to local unfortunate children. We just ask for the cards, because they are what he truly enjoys the most.”
Annette Peck also said people may visit Hollywood, so long as they call ahead and let her know. The Peck family may be reached by phone at 740-352-0339.
Cards may be sent to:
Andrew “Hollywood” Peck
2017 Shela Blvd. Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.