PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Justin McGloin’s birthday celebration started just like any other — with singing and a Star Wars-themed cake.
The only difference was that this time, he was in the hospital.
The now 12-year-old was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in July 2021, according to his mother Katie McGloin.
“It was one day that our life flipped upside down,” Katie McGloin recalled.
Justin, dubbed “Mighty McGloin” by his supporters, was quickly admitted to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where he immediately underwent chemotherapy.
With the help of his family and friends, Justin beat it.
The McGloin family spent the rest of the summer together and even traveled to Maine.
Little did they know, the aggressive cancer would be right back on their doorstep when they returned.
“It took me by surprise when we got that phone call,” Katie said, remembering the day when her son’s bloodwork results came back.
Justin remembers that day, too.
“I got home, I got the news, and I was like ‘alright, we are doing this again,'” he recalled.
To date, Justin has logged 200 days as a patient at Hasbro and has undergone more than 20 procedures.
It’s his positive attitude that keeps both him and his family going.
While he misses his friends and the 6th grade class her never got the chance to meet, he’s still finding ways to just be a kid.
“I like Legos to keep my mind off the stuff that’s happening,” he said.
For his birthday, Justin said he wanted everything Baby Yoda, a character from the Star Wars spinoff series “The Mandalorian.”
But that’s not all.
Justin is also hoping to find a bone marrow donor.
“It’s critically important,” Hasbro Dr. Roma Bhuta, a member of Justin’s care team said. “We can’t cure children who have really aggressive leukemia or leukemia that comes back without a bone marrow transplant.”
The McGloin family has hosted numerous donor drives in an effort to find a match.
When Justin finds his match, he will get his transplant at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
But until then, Might McGloin will continue to fight on with Baby Yoda by his side and a smile on his face.