When Jack Barker first asked for a Snuggie, his mom was surprised.
"A Snuggie? Are you kidding me, really?" said Giora Barker. "You want this blanked that has arms. Why? Why not just have a blanket?"
But Jack, a 12-year old Leukemia patient from Coppell, Texas, discovered something not mentioned in the infomercial: The famed blanket-with-arms is perfect for children fighting cancer. Now, Jack is raising money to buy Snuggies for every cancer patient at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
Jack began using the Snuggie to stay warm during chemotherapy treatments. When the chemo medication moves through his veins, it sends a chill through his body. A regular blanket would keep him warm, but would constrict his arms -- and boredom would compound the painful sessions. The Snuggie solved that problem.
"They're really warm, and you can still use your hands to play Wii and use your computer," Jack said.
Wherever Jack goes in the corridors of the hospital, his Snuggie goes with him. And now he's on a mission to spread comfort and warmth to other kids in the same situation. He wants to raise enough money to buy enough Snuggies to cover all of the kids undergoing chemo at Children's Medical Center.
His first Snuggie gift went to Sharon Stewart, a lab tech at the hospital who treats Jack and is fighting brain cancer.
"Immediately, I started crying," Stewart said."I didn't expect that. He's an angel. He's helping other kids beat (cancer) by supporting them, too."
His friends at Coppell Middle School West are also helping. They're selling bracelets with his initials on them, and they've already raised more than $1,000. Jack's family and friends have set up a foundation called "Jack's Closet" to keep the fundraising effort rolling.
Meanwhile, other friends reached out to the company that makes Snuggies. The company donated 100 to get things started.
To cover all of the cancer patients the hospital sees in a year, Jack will need to raise enough money to buy about 1,000 Snuggies, but he's confident it can be done.
"If you work hard at something and keep doing it, you'll eventually complete the task," he said.
That's the same approach Jack takes to his treatment. Those who've watched him say the fundraising mission has helped give him a focus.
"If he feels he can give back, then he feels he's strong enough to keep fighting," Giora siad, "which is what he needs to do."said.