30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2023
Jude “the Dude” is a shy, sweet and caring 7 year-old little boy. He loves Star Wars, Legos, and dinosaurs. While he may fall right in the middle of his 7 brothers and sisters, you could never miss the huge smile or smirk that is always on his face.
In September 2022, after experiencing severe headaches, Jude was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant and fast-growing pediatric brain cancer. He immediately had successful surgery to remove his golf ball sized tumor at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children's Hospital, but given the location and type of cancer, Jude would require aggressive radiation and chemotherapy. Following his recovery from surgery, Jude spent 2 months at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) undergoing daily proton therapy, an advanced form of radiation. In January, Jude began a year of chemotherapy back home here in the Lehigh Valley that is expected to finish in December, with hopes of a cancer-free Christmas.
Jude is a true warrior and despite all that has transpired, he continues to laugh, smile and joke with his family. In addition to facing the challenges of radiation and chemotherapy, Jude continues to rehab from the effects of his brain surgery. He refuses to give up and has been making improvements that have even left his therapists impressed! He is determined to keep up with his siblings and one day soon be able to run cross country again.
Through our family's journey, we've been grateful for assistance and support from many people and organizations, and in a particular way from PCFLV. PCFLV has helped to remind us we aren't alone in this journey and others in our community are walking this same path. From helping to organize Jude's Christmas "Flight to the North Pole" from Lehigh Valley airport, meals and gift cards, to birthday cards for Jude's siblings, PCFLV has made our family's cancer journey a little easier.
Written by Jude’s parents, Maria and Paul
Please consider helping children with cancer and others in our community by scheduling a blood donation at Miller-Keystone Blood Center: https://donor.giveapint.org/donor/schedules/zip