Benefit Planned To Help Infant Brain Cancer 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.
Who: When Colden Scott O’Connor was born Jan. 8 to parents Timothy, a Scranton firefighter, and mom Stacy, a Dickson City barber, he was the perfect addition to complete their clan, which includes Kellen and Loriah, both 7, and Conrad, 4 (plus Fozzy, the family dog). The bright, blue-eyed boy with a big smile melts the hearts of all who meet him, from the sister who loves to take care of him to the big brothers who can’t wait to teach him how to build LEGOs and play sports. A routine wellness check with pediatrician Dr. Jeffrey Zero in mid-March, however, unearthed something abnormal, revealed to be a rare form of neuroblastoma when Colden was referred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Though his parents initially felt helpless, they gained some hope from the team of doctors, nurses and other staff who put together a plan of action to cure Colden.
What: Donations can be made online at GoFundMe.com or sent payable to Colden Scott O’Connor Benefit Fund to NET Credit Union, 119 Mulberry St., Scranton, PA 18503. Supporters also have organized a benefit fundraiser called Hope for Colden, which will feature raffles plus live entertainment by Jay Luke at 6 p.m., Riley Loftus at 7 p.m. and Friends of the Family Duo at 8 p.m. The $10 donation at the door includes free Miller Lite drafts during the event.
When: Saturday, April 20
Where: Morgan’Z Pub & Eatery, 315 Green Ridge St., Scranton
Why: Colden’s tumor remains inoperable as of now, and he faces numerous rounds of chemotherapy, with more treatments possible depending on how that goes. Proceeds will be used by Colden’s parents as they take time off from work to care for their son full-time while also juggling daily life with their three other children. Donations can help cover costs associated with driving back and forth to CHOP for multiple inpatient stays for treatment.
In his own words: “The diagnosis brought us to our knees, and we could barely think straight. Colden has the heart of a lion and has not stopped smiling. He raises us up and brings us joy to conquer our sadness and fears. We believe the fluency of prayers from our loved ones, our community and strangers alike will give Colden the strength for recovery. The support we have been shown has caused our hearts to swell indescribably. Much love to our family, friends and prayer warriors. Tiny but mighty, we go golden for Colden, and have courage for Colden.” — Timothy O’Connor, father
Update: Donations continue to be needed for Clarks Summit stay-at-home mother Amy Lea Brown, who is battling Stage III colorectal cancer. Contributions can be made online at GoFundMe.com or sent to 2539 Bald Mountain Road, Clarks Summit, PA 18411, payable to Amy Brown, Reagan Gilman or Jerry Brown.