Meet Joey Aquaro. The third of three children, Joey was welcomed into the world in May of 2005, adored by his parents, Matt and Maggie, and doted on by older sisters, Olivia and Annie. In December of 2007, two-year-old Joey was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an extremely aggressive form of childhood cancer. Immediately, Joey, just a toddler, began treatment in the effort to rid his tiny body of cancer. After five rounds of chemotherapy, two tumor resection surgeries, and eight rounds of 3f8 immunotherapy, Joey was cancer-free! For nearly 2 and a half years, Joey enjoyed the activities that he couldn’t while undergoing treatment that made him sick and weak. He continued to undergo quarterly scans to be sure to catch any returning cancer quickly, as neuroblastoma has a very high relapse rate. Sadly, in September of 2010, scans showed that Joey’s cancer had returned. Since relapse, Joey has undergone more chemotherapy and other treatments in the efforts to bring him into a second remission. Recently, scans have shown that Joey’s cancer is progressing quickly and there are no other treatment options. Joey is experiencing pain due to the spreading disease, and his mother describes seeing just glimpses of the happy-go-lucky little boy that he used to be. Butterfly Kisses was honored to visit with Joey and his family, as he is a Charlotte Butterfly Kisses Kid. Butterfly Kisses has been blessed to be a part of Joey’s courageous fight against Neuroblastoma. To learn more about Joey, visit his website or caringbridge.
2/23/2012: “With Matt and I by his side, Joey ran to the arms of Jesus early this morning. We are heartbroken, the pain so exquisite there are no words to even begin to express what the heart is feeling. But even in the ache, I find great joy and hope in knowing my sweet little boy is whole and without pain, his trademark smile and contagious laughter restored. How much though I wish I could hold him in my arms once more…. ” (via caringbridge)