First Posted: 4/10/2013
“It’s just amazing.”
Those are the three words Dupont residents Colleen and Joe Frushon use to describe the outpouring of support their family has received from the Greater Pittston community since their 10-year-old son, Joey, was diagnosed with bone cancer on March 20.
Friends of the Frushon family are hoping that support will continue with a large turnout for the pasta dinner fundraiser they have planned in Joey’s honor next weekend.
Spearheaded by Amy Brody, of Avoca, Joey’s diagnosis really hit close to home for the Brody family since it lost Amy’s father to pancreatic cancer in December. Still coping with this fresh personal loss, the Brodys have first-hand experience of what the Frushons are facing, especially Amy’s son, Tyler, who is Joey’s classmate at Pittston Area.
“Tyler’s first words to me were ‘Mom, if he needs a bone marrow transplant can I get tested?’” said Amy Brody, who is spearheading the pasta dinner.
Thankfully, Joey will not need Tyler’s marrow.
Joey’s bone cancer, osteocarcinoma, is localized to a tumor behind his left knee and has not spread to any other part of his body. While the Frushons are grateful for this news, Joey has a long pathway to recovery.
Yet, this upbeat fourth-grade student has already taken his first steps on that path in stride.
Following a four-day hospital stay at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville from March 25-28 where he received an aggressive chemotherapy treatment, Joey returned home in good spirits and with a good appetite.
“The doctors told me to keep him on a bland diet for the first few days he was home, but by Saturday he was asking for pizza,” Colleen Frushon said.
Following a three to four week rest, Joey will return to Janet Weis this month to receive two more rounds of chemotherapy. Once the tumor is diminished, doctors will remove it and insert an expandable rod which will grow with him and support his leg due to the bone being so thin. Upon the completion of the surgery, Joey will receive more chemotherapy.
The Frushons are hoping Joey will be able to resume his regular activities with the Duryea Wildcats football team, Avoca Basketball League and karate lessons next year.
Joey is the grandson of Wilford and Helen Howell, of West Pittston and Joseph and Diane Frushon, of Hughestown. He also has a twin sister, Julie.