DOWNERS GROVE, IL – This time last year, Cole Magnus of Downers Grove was undergoing treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital for acute lymphoid leukemia.
When WGN News Now first met Cole, he was getting ready to celebrate his third birthday on Nov. 1, but couldn’t have a party with friends due to his vulnerable immune system. He asked for birthday cards to make the day special, and wound up receiving more than 600 hundred cards from around the world.
This year, Cole was scheduled to have a party at a trampoline park, but had to cancel it due to the early start of the cold and flu season.
Instead, his family held a last-minute gathering with a few friends in a local park, complete with McDonald’s Happy Meals and a surprise visit by the one and only Batman.
Cole’s mother, Brittany Magnus, said he will celebrate with his family and immediate family on his actual birthday on Nov. 1.
Magnus, said this past year has been a rollercoaster for the family as well.
“Around this time last year, we were starting the hardest phase of treatment, and that did pretty much last until early the following year.” said Magnus. “Since then Cole has been feeling much better and we have managed to go on some family trips, and Cole has started preschool.”
Magnus added that Cole is still undergoing intensive treatment and is in a maintenance protocol. He gets chemo daily, goes to a clinic once a month, and gets spinal taps.
“He gets chemo in his port, so he still has the port. And, since he has the port, if he gets a fever at any time, we still have to be a Lurie within an hour just to make sure that he doesn’t have an infection.”
Magnus said Cole is back to himself in terms of his physical strength and personality and added that his hair has also come back.
She said Cole has experienced a few side-effects from some of his medications, including mouth sores and pain in his legs, but she said most days Cole feels “pretty good”.
“I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who sent a card last year. It made a really hard few months a little more exciting and brought some joy to us. So, we’re really appreciative of that,”said Magnus. “And we did save a lot cards. We have bins of them in the crawl space.”
Magnus said Cole’s P.O. box is still open for people who may want to send him a card for his 4th birthday. The address to send it to is below.
In the video above, see how much Cole has grown in the last year, plus find out what he wants for his birthday, his favorite colors, and what he’s going to be for Halloween.