FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WRIC)—A Fredericksburg boy fighting a deadly virus will now be able to take the only drug that could save his life.
Josh Hardy, 7, is a cancer survivor who has been a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. for months. His doctors requested use of an experimental drug called brincidofovir that could help him recover, but the manufacturer, Chimerix, refused because the drug has not yet been approved by the FDA.
The Hardy family says at this point, brincidofovir? is the only option Josh has. His story has gone viral, reaching people from all over the country.
"He's fighting so hard, he's fighting harder than all of us," says Josh's father Todd Hardy. "None of us can fight as hard as he has."
Friends of the Hardys say it was that support that made the president of the company change his mind.
According to Chimerix's website, the company says it has reached an agreement with the FDA for immediate initiation of a Phase 3 clinical trial for brincidofovir. The study is expected to begin on Wednesday, March 12; Josh Hardy will be its first patient.
"The one thing I would want to share with America is thank you so much for the love and support," says Josh's mother Aimee Hardy.
Family friend Duane Adams has known the Hardys for decades. He's seen Josh Hardy grow up and fight several battles against cancer. But this isn't about Adams.
"It really at the end of the day is about one thing—saving Josh," Adams said.
It's a phrase and movement that has gone viral; the hashtag #SAVEJOSH is being used by supporters nationwide.
"I really think this speaks to the fact that literally hundreds and thousands of people across the United States have gone to social media, called the company and asked them to reconsider and help save this little boy's life," Adams said. "We are all thrilled."