Gift takes paralyzed Butler County boy to galaxy far, far away

Andrew Little didn't simply get tens of thousands of Christmas cards from around the globe this year. He also received a gift from a Hamilton company that took him to a galaxy far, far away.

Employees at LemonGrenade Creative in Hamilton saw a story about the 8-year-old Fairfield Twp. resident's request for Christmas cards and learned he was also a Star Wars fan.

Little has been paralyzed from the neck down since he was about 15 months old and lives at St. Joseph Home in Sharonville because it’s a facility for wheelchair-bound people with complex medical needs.

“We designed a custom card for him, because we do graphic design,” said Thommy Long, president of LemonGrenade. “We made him, with him as Luke Skywalker.”

And inside the card, Long tucked two tickets to “Rogue One,” the recently released Star Wars film. Long’s company rents out part of a theater to celebrate the holidays and wanted to include Andrew.

After speaking with Andrew’s grandmother, Alyson Little, Long increased the number of tickets so both grandparents, Andrew’s sister and two nurses could attend the movie screening. A second nurse went along because there was concern the 3D movie could have harmful effects on Andrew.

“He’s great,” Long said. “He’s just full of life, and some of the characters from the movie were posing with him ... He’s sharp as a tack.”

“It was a very, very humbling, great experience, because I took my two kids as well,” Long said. “My son’s his age, so they were talking for a while.”

Long’s wife, Kelly, is a teacher in the Princeton City School District, and her entire second-grade class made cards for Andrew, as did many other classes and schools.

“When it’s all said and done, and all the boxes are open, we’re probably going to have 75,000 cards,” Alyson Little said. “It is amazing. We’ve got them from Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Canada…. We had a lot of fun opening them.”

“The cards coming from those countries are amazing,” Andrew’s grandmother said. “I can’t wait to share those with him.”

“When the boxes come in that have 100 or 200 cards each, they don’t know that,” Alyson Little said. “We have boxes that I’m still opening up that have handmade cards from kids.”

“My husband figured out we’ve gotten cards from every continent but Africa and Antarctica,” she said.

“The mail-carrier, I think he’s on vacation,” she said. “I think I put him out on traction (because of the heavy mail loads that had him delivering to her house 2-3 times a day),” she said.

As for the card from LemonGrenade, “They did a really good job with Andrew’s cards. It’s one of Andrew’s favorites,” she said. “He thought that was very cool.”

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