-- The 8-year-old cancer survivor who experienced his wish to star in his very own World War II film had the time of his life seeing himself on screen this week in the movie he named “Protecting Our Country’s Fate.”
“He thought it was amazing,” Tony Angel said of son Jacob, who saw a screening Wednesday. “He thought he feels like he’s a star.”
Jacob Angel of North Hollywood, California, was able to don a tiny military uniform and take on the starring role in a short film set during World War II thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Tony Angel said his son has been obsessed with soldiers and war after seeing the 1998 film “Saving Private Ryan.”
“He really has respect for soldiers and knows how hard it is and that it’s really not fun when [they’re] in combat,” Angel said of his son. “He feels it’s really honorable and that’s why he named the movie.”
When Jacob shot the short film in July at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California, he was still undergoing treatment for a rare form of kidney cancer called Wilms tumor. Jacob was diagnosed in March with Stage 3 cancer and underwent six months of treatments including chemotherapy and radiation.
Angel said he didn’t know how his son had the energy to shoot the film only days after a chemotherapy treatment.
“The scenes in the movie he’s climbing the hill and he mustered up the energy like how a solider would,” Angel said.
Jacob had been sick in bed the day before, unable to retain any food or drink, according to his father.
When asked what part of the film was his favorite, Jacob had an answer all ready.
“When I stick the flag at the top of the hill, because it was like I just won the war,” he told KABC-TV in Los Angeles.
After months of treatments, Jacob is now cancer-free and starting to gain weight back, his dad told the station.