Little Luca was diagnosed with kidney cancer when he was 1 and a half years old, after his doctor noticed a lump during a routine checkup.
"Back in December-ish, we went in for his 18-month checkup," Luca's mom, Jamie Teoli, explained. "And the pediatrician found something hard in his belly, and we went and had an x-ray, and from there, we had to go to Brenner’s. And Dec. 1, we were told he had Wilms tumor, pediatric cancer."
His mom said she’s constantly inspired by her son’s strength, adding, "He always has a smile on his face and loves to play and keep up with his big brother. And so it just gives me hope and courage to keep going for the days. If he can be good, I can be good."
To keep Luca’s spirits up, Roc Solid Foundation helped build him an impressive new swing set.
"At Roc Solid, our mission is to build hope for kids fighting cancer. We do that through the power of play," said Kathleen Hansen, marketing coordinator for Roc Solid Foundation. "We are out here building a playset for a little boy named Luca. He’s almost 2 years old. His birthday’s in a couple of weeks, so we kind of rolled this all into one big celebration for their family."
Building playsets for kids undergoing treatment is part of the nonprofit’s mission. Hansen noted, "Our goal is to put a germ-free place where they can play and be a kid, right in their backyard."
Another nonprofit, Mickey Truck Bodies, teamed up with Roc Solid Foundation to build it.
While the unveiling of the surprise swing set was emotional for the family, Luca was all smiles.
"He is so resilient," his mother said. "I just look at him, and he can’t even vocalize or complain or vocalize what he’s going through."
As for the big surprise, Teoli saw it as a total blessing, explaining, "It just means a lot to be able to have an organization come behind you and build something and bless your family with something so huge for Luca. We would have never been able to afford this playset, and we dreamt of having one. For our dreams to come true, it just means the world."
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