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June 24th is now National Patch Day, thanks to young South Florida cancer survivor

Young South Florida cancer survivor credited with National Patch Day
Young South Florida cancer survivor credited with National Patch Day 02:37

MIAMI - It seems like there's a day for just about everything. Donuts, pizza, but what about patches?

Well, thanks to a young South Florida cancer fighter, Monday, June 24th is now National Patch Day.

Oliver Burkhardt is a warrior and his patch-covered jean jacket is his suit of armor.

The soon-to-be 8th grader was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in May of 2020.

"It was a hard time. But what I thought was either you can be hum glum sad and be like 'Oh my gosh, this is never going to end', or you can get through it. Power through and just get it done with happiness," Oliver told CBS News Miami.

In search of some happiness, his dad Brian, took to Facebook, asking people to send patches-- just a little something to bring a smile to his son's face.

To his surprise, even strangers sent them in!

"One month we received up to 2000 patches," Brian said.

And so the Oliver Patch Project was born! Now, cancer-free for almost two years, Oliver and his dad work out of a Southwest Miami-Dade office space, shipping out personally picked patches on jackets and tote bags to other cancer fighters.

Last year, the project was selected for a special designation.

"There is a registry of national days and out of 25,000 applicants they accept 30 new national days a year, and last year we were granted National Patch Day," Brian explained.

More than 1400 "warriors" all over the country sport their unique patches with pride.

Even former Miami Heat star Shaquille O'Neal dons the denim!

For Oliver and his family, this mission to spread positivity and kindness will never go out of style.

"Hopefully it will feel like a suit of armor for the jackets, just to make sure they're loved and supported," Oliver said.

"To know that we can have a little part of putting a little sunshine in kids and families' lives is huge for us," Brian added.

While National Patch Day is officially June 24th, the free initiative is year-round.

You can go online and send a patch and a message of love and support to a child anytime by clicking here.

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