Young superhero has a team behind him

"When I had my daughter, Jeffrey would snuggle with her, commenting how cute she was while simultaneously being sick to his stomach," says Lauren Walsh, who home-schooled Jeffrey. "No child should have to endure what he's been through. But somehow he's the one who is teaching me the lessons now."

Jeffrey has scars running all over his abdomen, but it doesn't stop him from playing with his Skylander Giants.

"When he's building Star Wars Legos, that's when we know he's feeling better," Annie says.

"He almost never cries, but the other day I noticed tears. He said, 'I wish could just be a kid who goes to school every day.'"

There's no hesitation from Annie, bouncing off the couch to climb into her son's hospital bed while telling the story.

"My job is cheerleader," she says. "Hey, I learned the Gangnam dance and he laughed. I'll do back flips if I have to.

"We have our moments too, but never in front of Jeffrey," she says. "We both started crying when we got a packet in the mail from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. No parent wants to get that packet."

Jeffrey's father quickly points out that Make-A-Wish is for kids with life-threatening diseases. "It doesn't mean they are lost causes," he says.

The toughest kid you really should meet has decided on a Make-A-Wish Disney cruise, but doesn't want to go until he can eat.

He hasn't really eaten since April, a popsicle here and there while being fed through a port in his chest.

"Let me tell you, I need hugs," says Jeffrey's father without embarrassment. "My son is injured, and so am I. We know we're destroying our child, but we have no choice. We have to keep killing the head of the snake or it will come back."

Annie listens to her husband, but says, "I don't need hugs. You're just a mom, and you just do it. Maybe it's not a normal life, but we have our son. And that's what is important."