NEWARK, NJ (WCBS 880) – Cancer is a difficult diagnosis for anyone, but when it’s a child, it can be overwhelming. That’s when organizations like the Valerie Fund step in to help.
Now 18-years-old, Eric was 12 when his grandmother noticed a strange lump on his leg.
“The test results came back that I had lymphoma bone marrow cancer and that I had it since birth,” Eric told WCBS 880 reporter Kelly Waldron.
Luckily the tumor hadn’t spread.
He underwent treatments for a year and a half at the Valerie Fund Children’s Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
His memories have never left him.
“They helped me get through a lot. I know that I cried a lot and they just told me that it’s OK to cry because at your age, you don’t know what cancer is and you’re just developing. It’s ok to cry and to worry that you’re probably not going to make it. But in the end, they’re a great help,” he said.
Eric did make it. He’s been cancer free since March, 2008. He now gives back to kids like himself, volunteering his time at Camp Happy Times, a summer camp for children with cancer.
WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron In New Jersey
Fenov was 8-years-old when he continuously complained of stomach pain.
After numerous visits to the doctor and no answers, Fenov got dangerously ill when attending church in May, 2009.
His mother Matilda rushed him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on the left side of his abdomen.
“And I opened my eyes. I said, ‘God I don’t have nobody, but I have only you.’ Since then, God never leave me alone once,” Matilda told Waldron.
Fenov had a six-hour surgery, spent 21 days in the hospital and went through 12 cycles of chemotherapy and radiation along with a stem cell transplant.
He was treated at the Valerie Fund Children’s Center in Newark.
“When, you know, I feel a little bit needy, they come to my need and sometimes, I just need some company,” Fenov said.
He completed his treatment last year. Now, his one wish is to meet the President of the United States.
“Not a lot of people in the world get to see the President of the United States. I’ll be one of those very little people,” he said.
Join WCBS 880 this Saturday, June 11 at Verona Park in Verona, New Jersey for the Valerie Fund Walk & JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run. The run begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk at 10 a.m. To register to walk/run or donate, click HERE.