MORRISTOWN, NJ (WCBS 880) – You’ve been hearing this week about how the Valerie Fund puts young cancer patients at ease, but it also does wonders for their parents.
“When your child has cancer you no longer just have one, you have them all,” says Amanda.READ MORE: Suffolk Police: Franklyn Charles, 18, Charged For Crash That Killed Jennifer Figueroa, 30, In Wyandanch
She says that’s a lesson she learned very quickly upon the diagnosis of her now three-year-old son Jake. He is undergoing treatment for leukemia at the Valerie Fund children’s center in Morristown, where even Amanda’s toughest, most emotionally painful days have been filled with love, laughter and hope.
Amanda doesn’t know if she would’ve been able to feel that way anywhere else.
“You don’t dread chemo days. You know, you almost look forward to them because you enjoy the people here. It’s a very bizarre feeling, you know. You don’t want to have your kid to get chemo that day,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Kelly Waldron.
Even the worst days are made better because of the support she and Jake receive there.
“We walk in the door here now and, you know, everybody makes a big deal out of him, loves him, and they play with him and he’s a little rock star,” she said.
WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron In New Jersey
It was the summer of 2007 and Molly’s then seven-year-old son Ray had a bump on the left side of his neck, which kept growing.
After visits to three different doctors and two biopsies, he began treatment at the Valerie Fund children’s center at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.READ MORE: Alec Baldwin Was Told Gun Was "Cold" Before Fatal Movie Set Shooting, Court Records Show
“And then our world got turned upside down,” Molly said.
But Ray’s lack of symptoms made his case more difficult.
“Still had a lot of high energy. He was running around. It’s almost like his symptoms were kind of hidden,” Molly told Waldron.
That made her reliance on the Valerie Fund staff vital.
“They were just right on top of everything, even calling, like, more specialists to make sure what they were doing was correct,” Molly said.
During Ray’s treatment, he was lucky enough to have the help of Tilly, the therapy dog, to ease his fears.
“I was scared. So, they put the port on her and then they put the needle in the port. So, when it was done, they would do it on me and I wasn’t scared,” said Ray.
Now 10, Ray’s dream is to build Valerie Fund cancer centers across the United States.MORE NEWS: Campaign 2021: Early Voting Begins In New Jersey And New York City
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.