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Story of River Edge boy, 1½, reminds us to go gold to fight childhood cancer

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

GO GOLD: While many parents were preparing their youngsters for school earlier this month, Daniel and Vanessa Abbadessa of River Edge were at Hackensack University Medical Center, where it was discovered that their 1½-year-old son, Luke, has neuroblastoma.

Both teach in the West New York public school system and were preparing to meet their new students when the world suddenly crashed down on them.

Luke had shown no signs of trouble before doctors detected a mass during a routine exam 10 days ago. Tests followed and the little innocent’s cancer was diagnosed as Stage 4 aggressive.


Surgery isn’t possible, given the size and place of the tumor, so he’s undergoing chemotherapy.

Luke, who has a 3½-year-old brother, Matthew ( below ), is a fighter. So are his parents, Vanessa Forte, originally from Ridgefield Park, and Bergenfield native Daniel Abbadessa.

“Luke’s first week of chemo went amazingly well,” Laura Derwin, who created a GoFundMe page for them, wrote on Monday. “He had no side effects at all and continues to eat, drink and play like his normal feisty self.

“This week he will rest and if his blood counts are stable they may jump right into round two a week ahead of schedule.”

NOTE: River Edge Diner is donating 10% of all sales on Oct. 10-11 to Luke.

Please do what you can. No amount donated is is too small.

And please share the GoFundMe link.

Thank you.

Matthew and Luke, with Daniel and Vanessa

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. A Wood-Ridge couple whose 13-year-old son died of AML leukemia is reminding people to “Go Gold” in the hopes of increasing scarce funding for pediatric cancer research. READ MORE….

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