On Air Force 1 Monday, President Joe Biden showed some love to a heroic Boston boy dealing with an issue close to the president's heart.
Biden put on a Mighty Quinn wristband, paying tribute to Quinn Waters of Weymouth, the 6-year-old battling brain cancer for a second time.
The boy has become beloved in the Boston area. When in isolation for about 100 days after his first cancer diagnosis, for a medulloblastoma, singing police officers, the Dropkick Murphys and others visited Quinn's window; later, he got a video message from Tom Brady and was able to appear at local sports stadiums. But cancer was found on Quinn's brain stem in 2021, a recurrence that meant chemotherapy and radiation.
Rep. Stephen Lynch facilitated the presidential gesture on Monday while the Massachusetts Democrat flew back to Washington on Air Force One after Biden gave an update on his cancer "moonshot" Monday in Boston.
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Biden's oldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015, and Biden hopes to cut the death rate from cancer in half over the next 25 years.
"He was in the middle of a story about his son, the president was, about Beau Biden and how his family was affected and it dawned on me that I had the wristband on," Lynch told NBC10 Boston.
He'd gotten the wristband from Quinn's mother Tara one day earlier, at a Sept. 11 memorial in Quincy.
"I said, 'Well, if you talk to the president, can you give him this and tell him that one mom is super grateful for his support of that initiative?'" Tara Waters said, with her son in her lap.
Lynch took her up on it.
"Mr. President,' I said, 'I just want to explain the situation of my young friend Mighty Quinn,'" Lynch said. "I explained his situation and the president, he had that off my wrist in about two seconds on his own and posed for a picture."
Waters thought the fact that "a sitting president is aware of your son's story and is honoring him in that way is pretty cool."
Lynch reflected on the burden that cancer has placed on both the Biden and Waters families: "When a family goes through that, the circumstances take you to a depth of emotion that is just unequaled, and I think the president instantly understood what Tara and her family were going through."
What they're going through is a pain that Biden and Waters don't want others to endure.
"For him it's a passion project," she said of the president. "He wants to find a cure for cancer so that no other children lose their fathers, their mothers and parents as well don't have to feel that pain."