RIPON — September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a group in Ripon is bringing attention to a disease that devastates families right in our community.
Hearing your child has cancer are words no parent ever wants to hear.
The American Cancer Society estimates around 11,000 children across the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone.
This is why families in Ripon are coming together to raise awareness and celebrate kids who are still fighting their battle.
Saturday was filled with football and pompoms for some local families who spend most weekends in the hospital.
About a dozen children battling pediatric cancer were honored at the Knights Youth football game.
“It’s awesome. Makes me feel good,” Mason Ferrelli said.
Diagnosed with a form of brain cancer at the young age of ten, Mason isn’t letting his illness keep him down.
“It makes it harder to play sports and stuff but I’m starting to get there. I’m starting to get back to where I used to be,” Mason said.
He got to toss the coin for Saturday’s game and he said the love he’s received from his community gives him the courage to keep on fighting.
“It’s been hard but it’s good to have all this support,” Mason said. “And I’m feeling better because of that.”
His friend and classmate Kyle Prime is one of the lucky ones.
After losing a kidney to cancer, he’s come back even stronger and is now three years in remission.
“I’m able to go outside and hang out with my friends now. I’m able to play sports and I love to fish,” Kyle said.
His mom said Kyle’s illness took her entire family by storm and now she wants to help other parents in her community living the same nightmare
“I mean it’s devastating. It changes your life. It stops everything you’ve ever known,” Kellie Prime explained.
Prime and other parents like Monica Ferrelli said having a child with cancer is not only an emotional struggle but also a financial one.
They hope Saturday’s event spreads awareness and raises money to help with medical expenses.
“It’s a big financial burden in terms of medical expenses for all of the parents here, so every year we want to give back to new families and support them as much as we can financially,” Ferrelli said.
So that children like her son mason can spend less time thinking about his health and more time just being a kid.
If you’d like to contribute to this cause, you can do so by giving to the Posey Foundation.
100% of the profits go to childhood cancer research.