ROSELLE PARK, NJ - On any given day a child could be diagnosed with cancer. It's a fear that most parents hope they never have to experience. There is nothing you can say or do to stop it, not even love can halt it from happening. However, the residents of Roselle Park are showing their love for a child in their own community who has cancer by helping raise money for the family and showing a lot of support.

“We never thought we would hear the words your child has cancer, and then we did. Those words have changed our lives forever because cancer has changed our lives forever,” says Kim Vitale the mother of 12-month-old Matteo Vitale. 

Matteo lives with his parents Kim and Alfred and his sister and two brothers in Roselle Park.  He is also fighting the hardest fight of his little life against a rare cancer that just does not quit.

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Here is his story told by his mother. 

No child should have to endure the hardships of fighting cancer. For our son Matteo this is all he knows. Matteo was only 6 months old when he was initially diagnosed with stage 2 cellular congenital mesoblastic nephroma. He is one of fifty cases documented in the last fifty years. 

His kidney was removed along with an adrenal gland and a tumor that weighed approximately 1.5 pounds the size of a small cantaloupe. The surgery was thought to be a success because the tumor was encapsulated and had clear margins. The doctors at the Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia (C.H.O.P.), were optimistic that surgery alone would be the cure. The plan of action was to have monthly ultrasounds and MRI's every three months. 

Sadly on our third month MRI, two lung masses the size of an adult fist were found, Matteo's cancer had traveled to his lungs. Now fighting a bigger battle of stage 4 cellular mesoblastic nephroma. Matteo received nine weeks of chemotherapy, followed by a surgery that removed twenty percent of his lung. Matteo is doing well but we still have sixteen more weeks of chemo, followed by possible radiation. Matteo has been so amazing throughout this journey. He continues to fight the biggest battle of his life with a smile on his face. We are so blessed to have him. 

Matteo has not been fighting alone. The residents in Roselle Park have set up “Going Gold for Matteo” a fundraising event for Vitale family to show they stand with them in Matteo's fight against cancer, with all proceeds donated to the family to help with medical expenses.

“Matteo has an army in his corner! From his immediate family, the love of his brothers and sister, his grandparents, to strangers from across the country and even the world,” said Vitale. “The support has been unimaginable, particularly Sherman school and all its faculty who have gone over and beyond to show Matteo's older brother Christopher how much they care and the countless residents who contributed to our Go Fund Me that was started by an amazing woman from town. People have shattered our expectations!”

With many tricky trays, edible arrangements, paintings/drawings, t-shirts, fundraisers, and more. The strength of the Roselle Park community is helping Matteo fight and allowing everyone to stay positive. 

“We are so thankful for the support our community has shown us. Never in a million years would we have thought we would need this support. When a child is diagnosed with cancer they begin what is often called a journey. The journey is often long, difficult, challenging, frightening, and worst of all; the outcome is never guaranteed, says Kim Vitale. “Matteo is facing his journey with strength, dignity, determination, and bravery. His scars both physical and mental will remain with him forever.  As the days go on please remember how important pediatric cancer is.”

"Going Gold for Matteo"  

DJ, Dancing, Pot of Gold (50/50), & Raffle. 

Lite fair food & soft drinks. 

Extra: Cash bar available 

Day: March 11, 2018

TIme: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Elks Lodge, Union NJ

Ticket Pricing: $25 per person/$35 at the door/children under 12 are free

Contact info for registration payments, donations, questions: teamteo2018@gmail.com or call 908-463-2385. 

Checks can be made out to Union Columbiettes and mailed to 37 Washington St, Keyport, NJ 07735. Last names will be used to get in at the door on the day of the event for those who have paid.

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