Team Israel - because No one should fight alone!

For: Israel Leone
Organizer: Charnee' A. Merritt
Team Israel - because No one should fight alone! (Israel Leone)
$8,090
of $25,000 goal.
Raised by 88 donors
32% Complete

The Story

At the age of five, my son Israel was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Judging based on his pains and symptoms, I thought it would be appendicitis. I never thought in a million years that it would be cancer. In Akron, Ohio we kept going to the children’s hospital and they couldn’t find out what was wrong with him. That's when I decided to take him to my hometown in Cleveland, Ohio and the doctors at that hospital told me that we would not leave without knowing what was wrong with my son.


We went to the hospital on June 19 and they did an ultrasound where they saw a mass. Then, they did a CAT Scan and on June 22nd, they confirmed it was cancer. They had me in a meeting room where they told me it was stage IV neuroblastoma, a nervous system cancer, and we had to start chemotherapy the very next day. Israel did six rounds of chemotherapy in Cleveland and the doctors performed a reduction surgery to remove the tumor. Unfortunately, they were unable to remove his entire tumor or any part of his primary tumor, so we went to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City to look for help.


Another surgery was scheduled at Memorial Sloan Kettering but Israel developed a line infection at the last minute so the surgery had to be postponed. During his infection, Israel was being cared for at Akron Children's Hospital. This is when the tumor that was left in his body started growing and spreading to his hipbone. He received more intense chemotherapy for the tumor until he was able to receive his surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The doctors there were able to remove his tumor, however they had to also remove his right adrenal gland and his right kidney due to the spreading. This brought about the need for a second surgery for his bowel obstruction.


Memorial Sloan Kettering is well known for its humanoid antibody treatment, so when the doctors told me Israel was eligible for it, I was ecstatic! However, Israel relapsed in the abdominal area before he was set to start treatment. The treatment is called humanized 3f8 and it goes throughout the whole nervous system and attaches to the cancer cells thus alerting Israel's white blood cells to go kill the cancer.


I was then informed that his lymphocyte count was too low for the treatment at all. This was terrible because it would've really helped Israel and I had already signed the papers and prepared Israel for it. I asked the doctor if we could try again in a week depending on his lymphocyte count at that time and the doctor agreed. Thanks to the help of prayer, vitamin C, mushrooms, a multivitamin, Protocel, and ASEA, his count was high enough to go through with the treatment.


The only down side to the treatment was that it is incredibly painful. For 10 out of the 40 minutes, Israel is in excruciating pain that not even the strongest pain medicine could take away. He screamed in horror during the treatment and I felt helpless. However, I had to stay strong for Israel. The day after, Israel told me it was okay. It’s times like this when I know that my son is my hero. He is always smiling through all the treatments, travelling and missing school.

Israel has had a total of 4 surgeries, 24 cycles of chemotherapy, 11 3f8 antibody treatments and 33 radiation treatments. He has been fighting neuroblastoma for over four years. Each time we come to New York for treatments, we need money for travelling, food, taxis and other expenses. We generally spend $100 to $200 per week in New York, and that easily doubles or triples when my four other children come with us. I think it's important for them to come to see and support Israel as well as be able to spend some time with their mother. Even when I am home, I am working as a nurse and they do not get to see me very often. We are experiencing a huge financial burden during a very difficult time in our lives and every bit helps.


When my rental car was towed outside the Ronald McDonald house in New York City, I was so upset and the towing company was very stubborn and unhelpful. So I called the police because I thought they might have towed my car and spoke to a wonderful officer named P.J Conley. He tried talking to the towing company but they were not cooperating with him either so he offered to pay my $185 towing bill and $20 for a taxi! The kindness of family, friends and strangers means a lot to my family and me and we want to thank everyone their continued support.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on July 14, 2016

Posted on July 14, 2016

I haven't posted in 9 months because our family needed time to regroup. In the beginning part of November Israel's scans showed a new spot and an old spot was getting brighter! He had to start back aggressive treatment.  A two week trip to New York turned into an almost 3 month trip away from Israel's siblings.  The aggressive treatment was showing much improvement according to the February scans. I prayed and asked God if he can make a way for us to do some treatments at home and he made a way. Being a single mom it is hard dividing your time between your sick child in one state and your other children in another.  So we were able to do treatments at home and now will only be traveling to New York every two to three months instead of every two to three weeks.  The treatments have been going well at home! Israel loves going to school and having a semi normal life. Every 21 days he goes into the hospital for treatment for six days.  His next set of scans are in New York next week and I ask that you pray that they are good so we can continue on this treatment plan we are on. Please pray for our finances! I recently passed my boards on May 5th of this year after being out of school for three years. But since Israel goes into the hospital every couple of weeks I can't take a full or part time job so I am on call. I do get two to four days of work each week as nurse but next week when I am in New York I will not work at all next week. Please pray for my other children! They missed a lot of time with me and Israel over the last few years and it has affected our family in ways that I would never had been able to imagine before cancer came into our lives. Thanks for caring about our family.  God bless!

Posted on October 2, 2015

Posted on October 2, 2015

Team Israel-I know I haven't posted in awhile about what is going on with Israel so here it is. I have news and I have great news.  The news first so when I was here 2 weeks ago and he got scans there was a spot that was definitive which was there in July but they did not know what it was.  Israel had to come back early to get the spot radiated.  The radiation is once a day for 10 days and it started on Tuesday and they do not work on weekends.  The great news is that the three spots that were radiated  back in July, 2 are gone completely and 1 is very faint.  When talking to Dr. Modak he mentioned Israel getting to remission and vaccine in the same sentence! I almost did a back flip but realized a thank you Jesus would be suffice if I did not want the emergency room in my future. no pun intended. ok maybe a little.  Please pray that the radiation he is receiving kills out the cancer and that his next scans show NED and that his bone marrow remain clear! We are all out of gift cards so if sending us gift cards is something you feel led to do please send to Israel/Rmh 405 East 73rd st room 513 New York NY 10021. If you feel led to donate please do so on Israel's you caring page.  Thank you so much!!


Posted on July 15, 2015

Posted on July 15, 2015

Team Israel it has been awhile since I posted on youcaring.com. Israel has 3f8 this week and radiation. His schedule is as follows: Monday-3f8, Tuesday- radiation morning and radiation in the evening. Wednesday-radiation morning, 3f8 afternoon, and radiation evening. Thursday radiation morning and evening. Friday radiation morning, 3f8 afternoon, radiation evening. Monday and Tuesday next week just radiation twice a day. Please pray that the radiation takes care of the Neuroblastoma permanently and that it never returns! It is for 3 spots on Israel's left leg on his bone! This is a busy week for us please pray for me as well!  I also received word today that Israel's bone marrow is still clear!  Thank you Jesus!!  The doctor was worried about the bone marrow because one of the spots looked brighter where the bone marrow is located. Please donate to this website.  My gift cards are getting very low for food.  Just a donation of 5.00 helps feed Israel and myself.  Please consider praying and giving!  We spend 100 to 200 a week here in New York City.  The Ronald is located in Manhattan on the East side which is the most expensive part.  The Ronald only feeds us dinner most nights and it is pizza two -three nights in a row followed by hot dogs and hamburgers 11 days in a row. I want to thank Apryl Healy who has a daughter named Gracie that is in the hospital herself getting multiple surgeries and she has donated multiple times to Israel's fund.  Please pray for Gracie! I also want to thank Laura Jackson from Akron/Colorado for the card an gift card.  I am praying God blesses everyone that prays and gives to Israel where they will not have room enough to receive. Thanks again for all of your support and we thank God for stable scans which is good news in the cancer world.

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