A Bay Ridge boy in need

September 19, 2012 Editorial Staff
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Get ready to attend a great fundraiser on Saturday, September 22, at 2 p.m. held in Christopher Ocasio’s honor. It will be at Salty Dog, 7509 Third Avenue, with tickets costing $20.

Christopher Ocasio is 15 years old. A resident of Bay Ridge, he attends Fort Hamilton high school. He is a shy, quiet and friendly boy who enjoys playing video games at the comfort of his home.

One day, seven weeks ago, he came home with a “big belly,” so his parents decided to bring him to Lutheran Hospital, to be examined. Ocasio was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a disease in which cancer cells form in the lymphatic system and start growing uncontrollably.

From Lutheran, he was transferred to Maimonides where doctors did a white blood cell transfusion, the first of his extensive treatments.

His state has deteriorated since. He has undergone one cycle of chemo therapy, having all the side effects he could possibly have. He needs six more to combat his stage four cancer.

Marcela Cruz, who is a good friend of Sandra Ocasio, Christopher’s mom, and who will be hosting the fundraiser, explained that Christopher is currently not in a coma, but that he no longer recognizes his mom and dad.

“The bleeding in the brain and the fluid in his spine have left him paralyzed from the waist down,” Cruz tearfully said. “He doesn’t know where he is.”

Christopher no longer speaks, and barely opens his eyes.

Cruz and Sandra Ocasio have been friends for years. They are School Safety Officers attached to the 68th Precinct, and believe “we should all help one another.”

The people in Bay Ridge, Cruz added, have been very giving, helpful, and generous to them. But the family needs more help. She has gone to restaurants in the area asking for donations to help pay for the expensive treatment.

There will be raffles at the fundraiser, free food and music. DJ Luke will provide the entertainment. Lime green bracelets, representing the color of lymphoma, will be sold.

Every penny goes to the family, with a small percentage going to help other children with the disease.

Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/10ms8g .

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