John David Freer was born April 11, 2008 in St Croix Falls, WI. In 2011, John and his family moved to Langdon, ND. Later that year, at just three and a half, John was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer in nerve tissue in the adrenal gland, neck, chest or spinal cord.
John would go through nearly two years of treatment until he was considered in remission. Two years later in September of 2015, John's cancer returned with a vengeance. He fought like a true warrior and superhero; however, on March 2, 2018, John gained his heavenly wings. "Forever 9." He was no longer in pain. John's mother Carey described treatment as being equivalent to hell. Besides having to watch her youngest boy endure the struggles and pain of treatment, there was mounds of stress from not knowing what the next steps would be, to trying to keep everyone on the same page while Rory worked and Carey was in the hospital with John.
The goal for Rory and Carey was to keep the older boys’ lives as normal as possible. This was incredibly tough, as John's brothers Edward and Brock missed their brother and mom so very much. They were a family separated. To help ease some of this pain, Skype was used frequently so the family could see each other. The family leaned heavily on their faith in God, and also their family and friends. The Langdon community was unbelievably supportive of the Freer family. "Brave the Shave has been an awesome source of support, both financially and by allowing us to network with other families who are going through similar things,” said Carey.
No matter how tough treatment got, John always had a smile on his face. He loved to ask questions and always worried more about others than himself. Each of John's family members misses something specific about him. Rory misses his son's attitude and laugh. Carey misses just seeing his beautiful face. Brock and Edward, miss having their little brother and seeing him everyday. One thing they all agree on is that they all miss John's big hugs.