On February 13th 2019 our family received devastating news about our 15 year old nephew Joseph Cortese, who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). What started with flu like symptoms and a battery of tests and emergency room visits turned out to be what no parent should ever have to be faced with, their child having cancer.
Joseph is a vibrant young man with a bright future to look forward to. Joseph has been undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatments, spinal taps and blood transfusions at Mc Master Children’s Hospital since his diagnosis. He has experienced some common and rare side effects.
His parents Frank and Cindy have been by his side feeling helpless as they watched him endure all this pain. His older brother Andrew has also been his support system. Joseph is still receiving chemo treatment on a weekly basis since this whole ordeal began in February, something no 15 year old should be dealing with. He should be in school and hanging out with his friends. He misses being around friends and family as he must be careful not to catch any colds, flu or infections during his treatments. It has been a long road for Joseph, always feeling very sick and very weak & tired & this hasn’t been easy on him. It is a very difficult time for the family as they are by Joseph’s side every step of the way.
Joseph in his second round of chemo and has not experienced remission. He is in the very high-risk category due to this, his age and another genetic mutation of his cells. We are praying that Joseph becomes a candidate for a clinical study of the CAR-T treatment at Sick Kids hospital. If he is unable to be accepted into the Sick Kids program, then a decision will need to be made to take Joseph to the United States for further treatments. His oncologist recommends the CAR-T treatment over the stem cell transplant since there is no perfect blood match and the severe side effects will be increased significantly.
Travel to the US will add to the financial burden on the family, but being so far from home and loved ones will be extremely difficult. With your help we can support Joseph and his family as they try to fight this terrible disease. Please give what you can as every little bit helps.
We decided to set up this Go Fund me in the hopes of raising what we can to help our nephew
Thank you Joseph for giving us a smile when taking these pictures!!
God Bless & let’s continue to pray for Joseph.