There aren’t many things that upset me more than seeing a child suffering. Last night, I met two special and very brave children who have been through more in the past few years than most people have to go through in a lifetime. Brianna Curry and Joe Joe Matuella and their mothers, Dawn and Suzanne were special guests at the American Cancer Society’s Orchid City Ball last night at Trump International. The entire room was in tears as Suzanne told the emotional story of her son’s battle with leukemia. He’s fought it twice so far and won. Joe Joe is 12. Brianna is only 8 years old and is fighting brain cancer.
At the end, auctioneer Neil Saffer led the crowd in a “ROCK call” – asking guests for donations to help send kids like Joe Joe and Brianna to a special ROCK (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids) camp. The children spend a week in Eustis, Florida riding horses, playing games, swimming, woodworking and just basically forgetting about their disease for a short time.
It was a generous audience. But St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara put everything into perspective when he stood up and asked guests to imagine what it would be like to have a child with cancer, then asked them to raise their hands and donate if their child did not have the disease. Nearly everyone raised their placard.