September 13, 2009

Quick Summer Update

Photo We've been meaning to send out an update for a long time now, but we've been so busy enjoying the summer with Luca that it's been hard to find the time. We are a universe away from where we were last summer, and have been blessed with many opportunities to visit our family in Syracuse, take Luca to the beach, music classes, church, parks, playgrounds, museums, and even our first family vacation to Cape May. It's been a slow adjustment from the alternate reality of pediatric cancer, but we've done our best to embrace and appreciate every minute of it. We'll post some pictures from Luca's summer vacation soon.

Luca is doing incredibly well, and remains cancer free. When we now run into doctors or nurses who haven't seen Luca in months, they often tearfully admit that they didn't recognize him. He's been slowly weaned off most of his medications and has no tubes or IV lines. Last week his out-patient checkups were reduced to once a month, and we will soon have our first appointment with the physician in charge of the pediatric survivor-ship program. None of this would have been possible without all of the tremendous love and support we've received from everyone, and we continue to be immensely grateful for all that we've been blessed with. Thank you for continuing to include Luca in your prayers.

While Luca has been lucky enough to travel so far away from the disease, there are many other children we've met who have ended their struggle, and others who continue to battle each day. Please pray for all of the warriors and their families. We keep them all close to our hearts and hope that they can find peace.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Check out curesearch.org to learn more about ways you can help raise awareness of childhood cancer and make sure that finding a cure is a national public policy priority.

Comments

It is my pleasure to read your article! Thank you for sharing! good luck!

Hello Greg Manel and Luca,
I just have to say that this picture is TOO CUTE for words. I am happy to read your updates of normal everday life. How wonderful for you all.
Continuing to be in my prayers,
Dee Lombardi

It's so amazing to see how far Luca has come. He looks so beautiful and healthy! What a wonderful little guy. Love you, Luca!

=>

That is soooooo cute that Jordan posted a comment!!!!!!Hope all is still well. Wow, Luca is going to be 2 in a couple months. I can't belive that. I also think Luca would be a very cutttte SUPERMAN!!!! With all you guys have been though, he really is Superman!!

Love Always,
Nikky C. =>

That is soooooo cute that Jordan posted a comment!!!!!!Hope all is still well. Wow, Luca is going to be 2 in a couple months. I can't belive that. I also think Luca would be a very cutttte SUPERMAN!!!! With all you guys have been though, he really is Superman!!

Love Always,
Nikky C. =>

Hi Luca,
"This is Jordan and I just watched your old videos and I really like them. My mom said I could send you a message. I really like the pictures we printed of you on our fridge. I hope you are feeling good and I can't wait to see you. I am wondering what you are going to be for Halloween. I think you could be SUPERMAN!!!! I am going to be Buzz Lightyear and that would be really cool if you were that too!! Have fun trick or treating and I love you- bye"
Jordan

My prom date looks gorgeous!! Glad to hear you are all doing so well and living it up this summer, hope to catch the handsome man at his next regular check up! Keep enjoying!!
Dr Nicole :-)

This is wonderful news!! What a cute picture. The hair is sooo cute. All the waves. So glad that you got to enjoy summer with Luca and go on your first of many family vacations. I know I love Cape May. I am sure Luca did as well. Most importenly that you were there as a family and that Luca is healthy and a long way away from his cancer. You are always in my prayers!!

Love always,
Nikkky C. =)

So great to see such a wonderful update. He looks absolutely beautiful, healthy and full of life. I can't get over all his wavy hair- sooo cute. We are so happy you have been able to enjoy some of the wonderful moments of a little boy and know with all our hearts that it has only just begun. You are all amazing fighters and survivors- we can't wait to see you all again and are looking forward to more updates and pictures. Always in our thoughts and prayers-
Kelli, John, Johnny, Jake and Jordan

Dear Luca, Manal and Greg:
What a bee-utiful picture of a very special healthy little boy. With each new "venture" you all share, our hearts are bursting with gratitude for all the blessings God has given this special phenomenal little fighter. How great to be partaking in everyday "normal" little boy acivities and fun things. Thanks for sharing your special times with us, and we can't wait to see more photos. Hugs to all of you.
Love,
Aunt Sari

Oh my goodness - he looks so old! I love the finger holds on the hand grips. He's taking no chances.
Thanks for such a happy update to end the summer on.
With love and hugs,
Rose M.

He looks great. My son adored Cape May when we used to go. Hope you're having at least that much fun.

Watching Luca get healthy, happy and CANCER FREE has been the most rewarding experience as his Aunt. I am so happy for you guys, you are the cutest family ever! Luca is seriously the most awesome kid ... A little wizard or Harry Potter that has proven to defeat against all odds! :) I truly believe Luca is magical and his effect and contribution to this world has just started. He is something special.

Love you guys.
xxoo
s

Luca you truly are a marvel! We tell Tuck everyday how courageous his big cousin is and what the fighter! Stay healthy little man, we can't wait to see you!!

Manal and Greg,

I can't tell you how happy I am... That little guy is so blessed to have you... I think Luca will always be a vision of Hope, Love, and inspiration. You are, and will remain in my prayers... now keep playing...

Evie Hawa

Manal, Greg & Luca,
Thank you for giving us your incredible strength & courage. Luca is and always will be in our prayers. Luca is a brave little warrior and we are so proud of what he has taught us. You are thanking us for what we have done for Luca, but we should be thanking him for giving us hope, love and determination. God Bless Luca and all of the other children who continue to battle this disease.
Luca looks adorable....is that red Sousou hair I see???? Love you!!
XOXOXOXO
Holly, Andy, Tommy & Matthew

Manal and Greg,
You all have been truly inspirational and Luca is proof of God's love and his many blessings. Glad to see Luca is doing wonderfully and hoping to see many more pictures from many more years of family vacations!
Love and Kisses,
Nabil and Irene

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