If you want to strike up a conversation with Xavier Jackson, just ask him about trains. This friendly nine-year-old will be happy to tell you everything you ever wanted to know, from the different types of engines to the history of locomotion. (It should come as no surprise that he wants to be a conductor someday.)
Xavier also loves wrestling with his cousins, watching The Discovery Channel, practicing tae kwon do, and hanging out with his Chemo Pal, Ron. The two got paired up a year ago when Xavier was going through some tough chemotherapy to treat his lupus; they’ve been fast friends ever since.
“They have an incredible bond,” said Xavier’s mom Rebecca. “They go to barbecues together, Ron helps him with his homework—Xavier feels very blessed to have him in his life.”
Although Xavier’s disease will require him to take lots of medication for the rest of his life, he takes it all in stride. In fact, this compassionate kid even says he’s glad it was him and not some other child. “I’m pretty strong, so I can take it,” he explained. “I just choose to focus on the good stuff.”