Help Support Baby Luke!!
Many of you may know Vanessa Forte who grew up and graduated from Ridgefield Pk. NJ in 2001 or Daniel Abbadessa who grew up in Bergenfield and graduated from Paramus Catholic in 1998. These two wonderful people met and fell in love and later life blessed them with a happy, healthy marriage. Later in life they were also blessed with two beautiful boys, Matthew age 3 1/2 and Luke age 1 1/2. Vanessa and Dan both work as educators in the WNY public school system.
As they were both anxiously awaiting to greet their new students this year, unfortunatley life had other plans for them. When most parents were sending their young ones off to their first day of school ...Vanessa and Dan were spending their time in Hackenack Hospital where it was discovered that their baby boy was diagnosed with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.
On September 2nd, during a routine examination at their doctors they were completely caught off guard when a mass was detected on 20 month old playful happy son, Luke. Considering he was fine and had no symptoms whatsoever you can imagine how heart wrenching and unexpected this new was to them. After much medical testing and research, biopsies have confirmed that Luke has Stage 3 (possibly 4) neuroblastoma. Due to the placement of his tumor they are unable to operate right now so Luke has to go through Chemotherapy to help shrink the tumor first. Needless to say Vanessa and Dan were not able to return to their teaching positions as planned. Knowing how much this community pulls together we are hoping to rally again to support the Abbadessa family in one of the biggest fights they have ever known.
Since our last update he has participated in a few clinical trials here at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We are so fortunate to have so many neuroblastoma treatment options close to home. After surgery Luke went through two more rounds of chemo and an unsuccessful clinical trial. He still had a significant amount of disease and finding a treatment that worked was a challenge. Just as we were losing hope he began a trial using hu3f8 (an antibody) and had a great response! This treatment is extremely painful but he has made it though 9 rounds like a champ. He also received twice daily radiation to the main tumor site in October. After all that he still has two small spots of disease in his hips so recently those were radiated as well. For now the plan is to continue with this trial until they clear or his body develops a resistance to treatment, whichever comes first.
Vanessa went back to work in the fall but unfortunately had to take another leave of absence recently and is now handing all Luke's appointments and care while Dan works. While this is obviously a stressor the family's focus remains on getting Luke to achieve full remission from this terrible disease. Luke will have new scans right after Valentine's Day and we ask that you all send him lots of love for good results.
Luke just finished his third (and last for now) round of chemo and now we are just waiting on surgery that will happen the end of this month....keep the prayers coming that he doesn't get sick before then and that all goes well with the surgery and scans!! We will keep you all updated using this page and also on
I am President of the WomenforWNY and because of Luke and other children with WNY roots our group did a Tricky Tray fundraiser for Childhood Cancers. Our ladies worked hard to make it a huge success. Not only did Luke receive a donation but we also were able to donate to 2 other children and Ronald Mc Donald House. We hope to make this an annual event so we can help as many children as possible...God Bless the Abbadessa's and every family that suffers through this.
Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family. Coming from a family with childhood cancer our house is always lite up in gold and a big sign in front for the month of September. Love to you and your family from the Turner/Esposito family.
My prayers are with u for your beautiful little Luke. May God bless him & protect him. Stay strong.
Luke you are such a fighter keep pushing ahead! Sending prayers and hugs always. Ps you are adorable! I see you love your binky so cute
Sent lots and lots healing prayers to your beautiful little boy
May God bless Luke and give you strength and also know that you have lots of support in our prayers..
Sending your family so many prayers. We don't know you but are fellow River Edge parents.
God is with you,there is a reason why your kid`s name is Luke ..,nothing is impossible in The Lord if you believe on His promise...Luke 1:37...i will keep you in my prayers,,i also read about guanavana juice for curing cancer..God bless you
HI, my thoughts and prayers are with you. My son was also diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma and patient at memorial sloan kettering .Dr laquaglia removed a tumor that was wrapped around his kidneys without removing any organ (his hands are truly blessed by god), unfortunately my son relapsed but this was many years ago and the team at kettering has come a long way they gave me many years with Gregory and I am forever grateful for them. Stay strong miracles do happen.
Thanks Lindsay I remember you. I'll pray for your fiancee
My heart goes out to your family. I am not sure if Dan remembers me but I was a student teacher at WNY middle school 3 years ago. My fiance is currently at Sloan Kettering undergoing a bone marrow transplant...So far I have learned that there is only one way to think..and that is positive. Stay strong and know that you are not alone
Jeremiah 33:3 "Call out to me and I will show you great and mighty things.."
Jill Chavanne Augustine My son Matthew was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in January 2013 and was declared in remission on 5/2/14 after 1.5 years of chemo, transplant, raditaion and immunotherapy.... MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! Keep your chin up, follow the process to a T and pray every day for for 100% recovery! YOU CAN DO IT LUKE!!!! GO LUKE GO !!! Please support this family ... we know what you are going through all too well.
Hello, did you ever consult with Dr Laquaglia from Sloan Kettering in new yourk. He has removed and retsected neuroblastoma tumors that other Doctors feel are in operable and has save so many children. Unfortunately our baby girl was born with nueroblastoma but she was to to sick for surgery. He is said to have gods hands. You can goolge some of his stories.
Thank you for these updates. Sweet Luke is heavy on my mind and heart. Constant payers for all of you. ♡
Our prayers are with you all. May God grant you the Faith and strength to get through this difficult time.
My heart goes out to your family. I pray that Luke will be ok. God bless.
God Bless you Sweet Luke.. We are here if you need anything we do not live far so please do not hesitate to reach out if ever in need of anything.. Many prayers are being said for your beautiful son..
God Bless all of you. I am simply amazed at everyone's support. Thank you Thank you Thank you.
My prayers are with you and your family