WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Sebastian Bradley is a silly, loving, energetic 9-year-old from Williamsville. He loves LEGOs and he love the Sabres.
He also loves to sing — everywhere — a sign his mom Elizabeth says, shows his happiness.
But life for the Bradley’s isn’t always happy. In fact, since February 20-16, they’ve ridden the roller coaster of Seba’s brain cancer diagnosis and his treatment. But for all the darkness of the past 22 months, their friends, family and especially their community have delivered the light.
Twenty-two days before flying from rooftop to rooftop across Western New York, Santa made a special trip to the northtowns to bring some holiday cheer to special boy, whose life is now on the clock.
Sebastian Bradley was diagnosed in February 2016 with glioblastoma, a rare and difficult-to-fight brain cancer that is still far too often terminal.
Such is the case with “Seba,” which makes this Christmas all the more important.
“You never know what you’re going to go through tomorrow,” Elizabeth Bradley said. “So we have been living one day at a time for the last two years.”
But sitting across from him, in a living room wall-papered with love, you’d never know he was any different than any 9-year-old on the verge of the best day of the year.
“Look at this guy! Me!” he exclaimed when asking about a surprise visit earlier this month.
This guy couldn’t believe it when Santa trotted onto his front lawn to deliver the first of many surprises.
Grand Livery Stables, out of Springville, went all out, as their known to do this time of year. Of course there were gifts. More LEGOs and action figures spilled from Santa’s sack.
But his favorite? A cash stuffed wallet, “a real one,” he says.
“I almost cried because it was an actual wallet,” he said. “Not a Teen Titans Go wallet.”
Grand Livery Stables grand gesture is one of many ways the Western New York community has embraced the Bradleys, and held young Sebastian in their collective arms.
A holiday card drive — discontinued weeks ago — is still delivering, by the box full. Each note more meaningful than the next.
“It’s amazing,” Elizabeth said. “It’s like I feel that we have not gone through this by ourselves.”
And that feeling isn’t wasted on Sebastian.
“I like it,” he says. “Because it makes me feel warm inside.”
“Imagine that we are in a dark room,” Elizabeth explained. “And every card that you see around us, it’s a little star. Imagine how our night looks right now. It’s full of stars, and it won’t be as dark as it was before.”
For the past several months, Sebastian has been receiving. But his story lately is just as much about giving.
He and Elizabeth’s best friend Stacey Brown came up with the idea for Sebastian’s Lego Club, so that kids in the hospital physically, can be elsewhere mentally.
“It was what kept Sebastian going during those times when it was really tough,” Brown said. “It was a diversion for him.”
The club’s first donation came from its 9-year-old founder.
“Whenever I play with LEGOs, it makes me happy because I don’t have to get worried or anything,” Sebastian said. “So I’m thinking of these kids that are worried about everything. I feel like they need help too. So I just wanted to do a Lego club.”
Twenty-two days after Santa first showed up at his house, he’ll be back. And Sebastian, like every other kid his age, can’t wait. But not for the reason you might expect.
When asked what he likes best about Christmas, he said “To wake up and see everybody’s faces smiling and everything.”
“For us, every day is special,” Elizabeth said. “For the holidays it’s just another reason for us to be together and just be thankful for what we got every single day,”
There are three dropoff sites for LEGO donations, Geico Insurance Agency, 1102 Union Road in West Seneca; Northtown Kia, 3900 Sheridan Drive in Amherst and Streamline Designs, 3475 Niagara Falls Blvd., in North Tonawanda.
For more information, visit the Sebastian Lego Club page on Facebook.