Thank you so much for all of your generosity for my birthday request! So far, you have donated $1000 for the St. Jude's Walk to End Childhood Cancer. It made my 60th birthday one that I will always remember.
For those of you who haven't visited my page yet, I wanted to tell you one of the reasons that I am walking for St. Jude's. Luca Ciraldo is the son of Rachel and Nicholas Ciraldo, who are local music educators in the Hattiesburg area. This is Luca's story:
Luca was 23 months old when he was diagnosed here in Hattiesburg with a rare form of pediatric cancer called hepatoblastoma. His parents took him to Blair E. Batson for a second opinion and to get a referral for St. Jude's because of their success with treating pediatric cancer. He arrived at St. Jude's on a Wednesday night, and by Friday night, after more scans, his treatment was already underway. Luca had six surgeries, and went through six rounds of chemotherapy in six months.. In Rachel's words, "St. Jude's was amazing! And when they say it is free for the child and the parents, they mean it. Everything was taken care of...our lodging, on and off campus, our food, everything. They were wonderful. "
The family relocated to Memphis for the six months that Luca was in treatment. They lived at the Ronald McDonald House that is specifically for St. Jude's patients. They were provided with gift cards for Kroger so that they could prepare their own food and have family time together. In 2013, Luca was diagnosed with a secondary cancer as a result of treatment for the first cancer. This sometimes happens because of the toxicity of the chemotherapy. Since that time, he has been back to St. Jude's for four other surgeries; the most recent was in spring of this year. Again, all costs were covered, including the hearing aids for his high-frequency hearing loss caused by the earlier chemotherapy. They still cannot identify exactly what kind of cancer he has-it has never been seen before. However, with St. Jude's there is always hope because research is always going on, and answers are being found.Luca is a lively eight year old boy who has never known a life without this disease.
Although my birthday has passed, I am asking you , if you are not already donating to St. Jude's regularly, to donate through this link to St. Jude's as I walk to help eradicate this ugly disease. My goal is currently $800.00. I would love to be able to reset that goal for Luca and for other children who are fighting cancer every day. Thank you!
EVERY PENNY RAISED FOR ST. JUDE'S GOES FOR RESEARCH AND TREATMENT OF CHILDHOOD CANCER.