NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – This Saturday morning WCBS 880 will be part of the Valerie Fund Walk and JAG Physical Therapy Run in Verona, New Jersey.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the organization which supports the comprehensive health care needs of children with cancer and blood disorders.
All this week, WCBS 880 reporter John Metaxas is looking at the people who work with the Valerie Fund and the families it supports.
There are no age limits on the children the Valerie Fund will treat.
Even the littlest of children can get cancer. Katie Mulcahy was only 14-months-old and he mother still remembers the day.
“It was pretty much a shock. We found through a fluke. We thought she had asthma and that’s how they found the tumor in her chest. Luckily, we had gone for a chest x-ray and they found this on a Friday and we were admitted into the hospital on Monday and she had the tumor removed on a Thursday,” her mother told Metaxas. “So, it was a whirlwind of a week.”
She said the experience was made bearable by the good people of the Valerie Fund.
“They gave us tons of their support from day one, spending hours and hours with us. I think about that every time we’re there, how much time they spent with us that week and how many times I ask the same questions over and over again and they were extremely patient with us,” she said.
Katie, too, appreciated them.
“She’s not scared to go to the Valerie Fund. She’s not scared to see the doctors or the nurses and I think it’s their dimeanor and their kidness that make it a lot easier for her,” her mother said.
Now 4-years-old, Katie will be her own team, Katie’s Krew, at Saturday’s event.
LINK: Sign Up For The Walk/Run
Scott Di Giulio is 23-years-old and his future is bright, but it wasn’t always so.
“At first, I was just getting increasing headaches – migraines times ten. 2008, New Year’s Eve, I passed out in my closet. My mom brought me down to Advanced Imaging, got an MRI, and they found a spot in the back of my neck, back of my brain,” he told Metaxas.
It was a brain tumor and Scott was only 18-years-old.
“I was scared. I was sad. I was mad. I was scared I was going to lose everything,” he said.
But Scott was fortunate to have the Valerie Fund in his corner as he went through his cancer treatments.
“It played a major role. The people from the Valerie Fund – the nurses, the doctors. the staff – they’re amazing. They know how to keep kids thinking positive and I think that’s one of the key rules in order to beat cancer is thinking positive,” he said.
Di Giulio is back on his feet now, finishing community college and dreaming of his future.
“I actually hope to get into the Coast Guard, have a career in the Coast Guard,” he said.
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