December 19, 2008

Luca Turns One


Luca had a great first birthday! All day long, a steady stream of visitors from the hospital stopped by to congratulate him. Auntie Sue and our amazing friends from Child Life filled his room with balloons and decorations. He received more birthday presents than can fit in our room. We read him all of the emails, comments, and cards from his family and friends. And most important, he was feeling healthy and happy.

The transplant team has very excited about Luca's progress the past couple weeks. With any luck, we'll be checking out early this week, home in time for Christmas. Stem cell transplant is an up-hill battle that requires long-term follow-up care, but returning home after the initial engraftment period is a huge step towards recovery.

When Luca was first diagnosed, we would often think about his first birthday as a distant milestone that would take a miracle for us to reach. It's a testament to all of the staff at Sloan-Kettering, all of your love, prayers, and support, and Luca's will to fight that he is here, smiling and laughing and refusing to give up. Happy birthday Luca, and may God grant you many, many more.


This is the best Christmas and New Year's gift possible!! Luca has celebrated the first of many, many healthy birthdays to come. Sorry this is so late after the holidays and Luca's birthday, but know that
you are all in our constant thoughts and prayers, and I ask about you all the time. You guys have been amazing through this whole thing, and continue to show amazing strength and courage beyond belief. By continuing to be there for each other and that beautiful baby, oops Big One Year Old Boy, you have accomplished something wonderful. May God continue to bless and keep you in safe.
All our love and prayers, Michelle, Alex, Nikky, AJ and Michael.

We were at the hospital today and asked about Luca, and someone told us he was doing well and that you had this site. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCA!!!! You are too adorable for us to keep our hands off of you when we do get to see you face to face!! We can not wait to see you all and with Luca on a good note!
Have a HEALTHY, HEALTHY new year!!!

Thinking of you all and so happy to hear all is going so well. We so hope he had a wonderful birthday- what a blessing for Luca to have his first birthday. He looks like he had a wonderful time! We are all thinking of you every day and praying for Luca to continue to stay strong. Love and prayers-
John, Kelli, Johnny, Jake and Jordan

A very happy belated birthday to Luca, and a big hug to his beautiful parents. May the new year bring nothing but good health and happiness. I miss you both very much and hope to meet Luca soon. All my love, Whitney

OMG!!! He is too cute on that pony! We love Luca here and are soooo happy for him! He's doing great!
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas at home!!
With Love,

Merry Christmas and the very best of a happy and healthy New Year.... Thinking of you always...

Happy first birthday!
I can't wait to meet you.
Your mommy is my very dear friend so as are you.
So much love,


You look absolutely adorable on your horsie!!!We are so happy that you are doing well and that you, your mommy and daddy will be going home for Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! We love you!!!!

Abeir, Dave, Briana & Nick

Seriously, that is one cute baby sitting so proud on his horse! That picture put the biggest smile on my face. So happy that Luca had fun on his special day, may he have many more. Even more glad to hear that you guys will be HOME for Christmas! Wishing you a beautiful family Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Much love,
Sue and Michael

Congratulions on a spectacular feat, turning one is hard work! Happiest year ahead love. Good travels home. May you be richly blessed with the best of the best this year, and EVERY year to come my love.
Auntie Sal

How cute!! I am soooooooo glad that Luca has reached his first birthday and he will be healthly for Christmas!!!!

Lots of Love and Merry Christmas,


What wonderful news. We are so glad to hear that Luca was feeling better so he could celebrate his first birthday and that you may be home for Christmas. May God bless the three of you.
Hugs and kisses to all of you.
Lauri, Kara, Mikey and Aunt Virginia

We are so happy to see you had a great birthday. You are one adorable little boy that we just love so much.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Brian, Joanne, Alex & Alaina

Amazing! Happy birthday, little man. Thank you for the courage you're showing to all of us. Keep fighting. We love you.

The Keating's.

Oh Luca,
Our little prince charming in your birthday hat! You are the King of the Castle!! Hope you had a wonderful birthday with all of your family and many many friends! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Hugs & Kisses to you and your beautiful Mommy & Daddy!
Holly, Andy, Tommy & Matthew

hope you had a wonderful first birthday luca! your strength continues to amaze us.

How adorable! Doesn't Luca look like the biggest boy on his horsie - sitting up so tall in the saddle! What a great picture. And with his King hat on to boot. He so deserves wearing that! What terrific news that you will be back at home for Christmas. You shall all be in our thoughts and prayers for a wonderful celebration of Luca's brave fortitude this past year. Enjoy every minute!
Hugs to you all.
Aunt Sari
P.S. Manal, you look beautiful, too!

I am so happy you will be home for Christmas. I wish Luca the most blessed Happy Birthday with many more to follow.

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

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