January 6, 2005
For one Queen Creek family, checking the mail has become exciting again.
Shelly Fiori submitted a profile on her son, Jacob, 9, to the Make a Child Smile Foundation.
Children featured on the foundation’s Web site receive mail from well-wishers worldwide.
Two years ago at Christmas, Jacob became ill and was later diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
He must continue treatments until September, when he will no longer need medication. If he goes five years without a relapse, Jacob will be considered cured.
"Then we can throw away all the pills and hope for the best," his mother said. "I’m excited and scared at the same time."
In the meantime, Fiori hopes the Web site will help generate plenty of mail for Jacob while he recovers.
Sandy Shields, owner of the UPS Store in Queen Creek, donated a mailbox for Jacob’s letters after meeting the Fiori family.
Shields understands how much mail can mean to someone fighting an illness because her grandmother recently died from leukemia. Greeting cards displayed on a shelf became a big source of relief for her grandmother.
"I want to make sure he has that same kind of motivation," Shields said of Jacob, a fourth-grader at Las Sendas Elementary School in Mesa.
After getting the mailbox last week, the aspect of receiving letters and cards thrills the Fiori family.
"We go there every day to see if there’s anything there yet," Shelly said.
"When I was a little kid, I couldn’t wait to go check the mail. Jacob’s the same way as we race to the mailbox."
To read more about Jacob’s leukemia experience, visit www.makeachildsmile.org and click on his picture under January’s featured children.
Those interested can send mail to Jacob Fiori, PMB 199, 23844 S. Power Road, Suite 102, Queen Creek, AZ 85242.