June 03, 2009

Speed Bump


Just a couple days after our return to Brooklyn from Syracuse, we learned that Luca had a serious infection in his implanted port. The incredible team at MSK quickly made room for Luca in their operating room schedule to remove the infected port and place a temporary line (which he managed to pull out a few days later!).

Because of the infection and the surgery, we spent a few nights on the floor. Being back on the in-patient side stirred up lots of potent memories. It did, however, give our close friends at Sloan the chance to see how much Luca has progressed since he left on Christmas Eve. Many people who last saw Luca during a grueling transplant were amazed to watch him pushing a shopping cart through the halls, laughing so loud that it brought people out of their rooms to see who was making all the noise. It also gave us the chance to reconnect with people who had become like our family for the year we spent on the floor. Luca is now home and back to his normal routine.

While at the hospital we met some families who are going through very difficult battles, so please keep all the kids on M9 in your prayers.

Luca's Baptism, Part 2

After more than a year since Luca started his baptism, he was finally able to travel to Syracuse for the first time and complete it. It was an emotional and powerful ceremony, with Luca meeting his amazing family for the first time. Many thanks to Father Terry, Father Thomas, and everyone who was there for making our homecoming such a memorable experience. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives.  

May 2009 (photos)

April 2009 (photos)

April 25, 2009

Brown Bear (video)

March 22, 2009

Fred's Team


Luca's amazing Auntie Sue has taken it upon herself to run in this year's New York City marathon in honor of Luca. She'll be running for Fred's Team, which was started by Fred Lebow, the organizer of the first New York marathon. In 1991 Fred was treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and was inspired by the pediatric patients he met while jogging through the hospital halls. The next year he ran in the marathon, and encouraged his friends to sponsor his run to raise funds for MSK. Since then, volunteers running for Fred's team have raised more than $35 million for pediatric cancer care and research. 

MSK treats more children with cancer than any other institution in the world. They rely on generous donations to develop the groundbreaking therapies that have saved the lives of countless children around the world, including Luca's.

And so Sue needs your help! In order to run for Fred's Team in the marathon, she needs to raise enough money for the cause by this spring. So if you have even only a few dollars to spare, click here to sponsor Sue and help her in her mission. Don't worry, she'll be doing all the running!

St. Baldrick's

Picture 5

Huge thanks to our cousins Al and Chip for sacrificing their full heads of hair in honor of Luca. They participated in a St. Baldrick's Foundation event, which raises awareness and funds for childhood cancer. Luca thinks you guys look great, and is looking forward to meeting you. 

March 2009 (photos)

Just wanted to leave a quick update. Luca has been doing great, and keeping us very busy! Each day he grows more and more active, and there doesn't seem to be anything he's not excited to explore.

We reached a couple big milestones this past month. First was the 100th day following his cord blood transplant. While there are never any guarantees, the 100-day mark typically means that you've made it through the most dangerous period.

Then, March 7th marked the one-year anniversary of Luca's diagnosis. It's been a quite a year, and we owe much of Luca's current health and happiness to all of your amazing support. We continue to be humble and grateful as all of Luca's recent tests have been clean.

As always, please keep our friends on M9 in your thoughts and prayers. A few of good friends have recently been re-admitted, and will be relying on blood donations to make it through.

And in case anyone was wondering, Luca's bracket has Syracuse going all the way!

February 22, 2009


Luca has been having a great time over the past few weeks. He spends all of his waking hours reading his books, learning to talk, figuring out ways to move from place to place, dancing, and laughing at all of the amazing things he's discovered. The transplant team even gave us the green light to bring him to the playground. Whenever the temperature goes high enough, we take the opportunity to put Luca on the swings, where he squeals with joy. He seems to have put all of the tough times spent in the hospital this past year behind him, and we've been doing our best to do the same.

Luca visits his friends at MSK twice a week. All of the staff who worked so hard to get Luca where he is today get to play with him and clamor for his attention. Lately he's been running into his old friend Anastasia, an amazing little girl he met last March. Seeing the two of them smile and flirt reminds us of how much resilience they've been blessed with.   

Clinically, things are looking very good. All of Luca's blood counts have been great, his bone marow has been clean, and his immune system has been slowly marching back. Next Saturday will mark 100 days since the transplant, a huge milestone on the path to recovery, God willing. We'll be sure to celebrate.

February 02, 2009

Learning to Walk (video)