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Billy HallowellOct 4, 2019 12:00:00 AM2 min read

Family of 11-Year-Old With Brain Cancer Has One Final Wish

UPDATE: John Francis Hoague-Rivette has sadly passed away. This post has been updated to remove his address. Please do not send any additional packages.


The family of John Francis Hoague-Rivette, a young boy battling terminal brain cancer, is making a passionate request of military members, law enforcement officials, EMTs and firefighters from across the U.S. — one aimed at encouraging and inspiring John.

The family is asking for challenge coins, patches and pins to be sent to the ailing 11-year-old as he continues to bravely battle his debilitating disease.

READ ALSO: 12 Bible Verses for Strength and Courage Amid Illness

Listen to John's aunt, Sarah Rivette, tell his story at the 18:30-mark:

John, who was diagnosed in May with a Grade 3 Glioma tumor on his brain stem and is now home in hospice care, has a deep affection for these military and police coins and first responder patches.

And as his battle worsens, these are some of the only items he's still engaging with.

"There are few things that he's responding to and one of those things is this collection of challenge coins and patches and pins from these law enforcement, these firefighters, EMS, military communities," John's aunt, Sarah Rivette, told "The Pure Flix Podcast" on Friday.

Rivette, John's mom, Carrie (pictured with him above), and other family members are hoping that military officials, police and other emergency service workers will send John pins, challenge coins and patches from all 50 states. 

"How cool would it be if we could get one from every, single state so that his collection is massive and he has support from all over the country and he knows that his story is having an impact with other people he's never even met?" she said.


Rivette also detailed the amazing ways in which John's community has already rallied behind him in recent months.

"There's just been an outpouring of love," she said.

In June, the Washington County Sheriffs Department made John an honorary captain. Later on, the Albany Police Department joined other officials in lining the halls of the hospital where he was treated and escorted him home to hospice care — a 90-mile trek. 

And that's not all. Members of the small New York community also gathered near his home at the start of his hospice care and spelled out the words "Our Captain" with candles — a truly moving display.

READ ALSO: 10 Comforting Bible Verses for Illness

"The Captain" is a title many have come to know John by during his harrowing battle.

For now, Rivette and her family are relying on God and prayer, and are thankful to their community for supporting John in his battle.

You can read more about John's story here, and if you or someone you know is facing challenges amid illness, consider these powerful Bible verses to find encouragement.


Billy Hallowell

Billy Hallowell has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite and on, among other outlets. Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.