City honors boy who lost battle with rare blood disease

Community members gathered Friday along Main Street dressed in red to say their goodbyes one last time to a 9-year-old Cherryville boy.

Glenn Jackson passed away Sunday at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte after more than a year-long battle that began with a severe blood disorder. A private burial was held Friday morning.

In August 2016, Glenn fell ill following a football practice and was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare blood disease where the body stops producing enough new blood cells. The resilient 9-year-old would undergo a bone marrow transplant, but complications would continue. He was later diagnosed with graft-versus-host disease, a condition where the donor immune cells react adversely against the host. 

Despite his suffering, John Jackson said his son never quit fighting.

"He looked us square in the eyes and said 'I like to fight' and laid back down," John Jackson said in a Facebook post Saturday. "With dismay we looked at one another, all with tear-filled eyes and understood. This is his last fight, he knows it, and he's going down swinging." 

Shortly after his son's passing, John Jackson put a request out on social media asking people to honor his son. 

"I want anyone that wants to come and wear red for Glenn to see him off Friday to line Main Street in Cherryville at 9:30," Jackson posted to Facebook Tuesday.

The community did not disappoint. A sea of red could be seen down the better half of Main Street, all to honor a brave boy who never gave up. 

A fourth-grader at W.B. Intermediate School, Glenn previously attended Cherryville Elementary. A large rock in front of Cherryville Elementary was painted red with the words, "Always Jackson Strong." 

Funeral services were held Thursday night at First Baptist Church in Cherryville. Watch Glenn's sendoff below. App users click here