Be the Hope NOW: Sir Jonathan is inspired to give back because of care he received

Sir Jonathan. (Thompson family)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It's that time of year where we remember what we're grateful for and come together as a family. One local family, despite loss and setbacks, is grateful for Riley Hospital for Children. They're fortunate for how the Riley staff cares for their beloved family member, 15 year old, Sir Jonathan Thompson.

Sir Jonathan and his mother Janel Thompson. (Thompson family)

Sir Jonathan's certainly not your average teen -- from his stature, presence, and passion for life. What you can't see on the surface of this 6' 5" teenager, is that he's battling an ongoing health issue. Sir Jonathan has severe asthma and food allergies. He's never let that define him, despite his diagnosis as an infant.

He's named after his father and yes, Sir Jonathan is his given name. It was his Dad's decision to don him Sir. His mother Janel remembers the meaning, "That we gonna use his name as to speak our faith. To tell people about the love of Christ. So that's what it was," Thompson said.

Faith defines the Thompson family. They've needed it. Sir Jonathan's father was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. It was sudden and devastating. He was given just 6 months to live. Sir Jonathan was just 9 at the time, but wanted to fill his father's shoes and lead the family. "At that point, he was teaching me how to lean on what we had always taught him...our faith," Janel said.

Sir Jonathan and his father. (WTHR Staff)

Jonathan lived 5 more years. During his cancer battle, he still made it to every one of Sir Jonathan's doctor's appointments every few months at Riley Hospital. "We were still up at 6 a.m. to get [to Riley] by 8," Sir Jonathan said.

It was just a few days into Sir Jonathan's freshman year when he got the news his dad had died.

"I've been through a lot with my Dad. We've all been though a lot with him. And just...you can never prepare for something that traumatizing to happen," Sir Jonathan said.

Sir Jonathan singing. (WTHR Staff)

The father and son shared a passion for music and musical theater. A lot of people already think the endurance of musical theater, singing and dancing on stage, is difficult for anyone who hasn't been diagnosed with severe asthma.

"It's difficult, you just have to learn to sing a little differently than everyone else," Sir Jonathan said.

He gets asthma attacks at random.

"It feels like the walls are just kind of like...closing in," Sir Jonathan said.

Like an attack a few years ago on race weekend. The inhaler and nebulizer weren't enough. This race for Sir Jonathan's Mom Janel was to save her son's life.

"I literally get in my car with Sir Jonathan...oh Jesus...I put my blinkers on and I'm doing a 100 [mph], 110...I was like it's a race to get him to Riley! I said 'well, it's race weekend, let's move!'" Janel said.

Sir Jonathan recovering in the hospital. (Riley Hospital for Children)

That weekend, and throughout his life, Riley Hospital staff saved Sir Jonathan. So while he loves musical theater, his dream is to become a doctor to help others and give back.

If you would like to give to the Riley Children's Foundation you can click here.