Donations Sought To Help Dickson City Heart, Leukemia Patient
In Times of Need, Northeast Pennsylvania comes to the aid of its own. In our regular column, Patrice Wilding provides a platform for area residents facing a variety of obstacles to create awareness and connect them with much-needed help.
Dunmore Elementary Center second-grader Luca Burgio is known in his family as the empathetic one; a kind, sweet 8-year-old who genuinely cares more about how things affect the people he loves than himself. The self-sufficient and easygoing boy can always tell when someone is sad or having an off day, and does whatever he can to comfort them. His mom and stepdad, Tori and Adam Donahue; dad, David Burgio; and sisters, Serafina Burgio and Delaney Donahue, love Luca for being a funny, inquisitive and witty kid, even as he battles acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His recent diagnosis also revealed additional health problems: Luca has atrial septal defect, or a hole in the wall that separates the right and left chambers of his kind heart. Surgery to close the hole is on hold until Luca’s health improves from his cancer treatments.
What/when/where: Ongoing donations can be made online at GoFundMe.com or mailed to 909 E. Drinker St., Dunmore, PA 18512, payable to Luca Burgio.
Why: Funds raised will assist Luca’s family with expenses related to his treatments, including travel, procedures and medications, which will span three-and-a-half years. Mom Tori, who owns bridal boutique The Darling Dress, was forced to close her Scranton shop two months early to focus on caring for her son; her remaining inventory moves to Mattern’s Floral in Kingston until her stock is completely liquidated. Currently, Luca receives an injection of blood thinners twice a day to prevent clotting, and he recently completed a month of chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Luca endured two forms of IV chemo, spinal taps that sent treatments directly into his spinal fluid and daily steroid treatments. He also has undergone two bone marrow aspirates.
In his own words: “The support has made me feel happier when I might not be feeling that good, and I can’t believe how many people are praying for me to get better soon. That’s really nice.” — Luca Burgio