May OUR force ALWAYS be with you!
Gino was one of a kind. He was a very smart, energetic, outgoing, funny, and athletic boy. He was given a golf club set at the early age of 2, and it was evident that he was a natural at the game. Many took notice of his swing and long drives. In soccer, Gino was the fastest kid on the team and often had games with multiple goals. Many took notice of his skills. His teammates and coaches were happy to have him as part of the team. In baseball, he had an uncanny ability to hit the ball. His swing was very energetic and aggressive. His very first hit reached center field.
Gino also had a technical mind. He was very good at the computer and excelled in video games. He loved putting on magic trick shows, dancing, going to the movies (his laugh louder than the whole theatre), and most of all, he loved spending time with family and friends.
Many took notice of him.
He was loved everywhere he went. He lived for the moment. Every day. What was to come made him, “The light seen around the world.”
In September of 2010 at the age of 9, Gino was diagnosed with stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. The primary tumor was in his right hand, 90% of his bone marrow was cancerous, and 2/3 of his left femur. He named his tumor “General Grievous” the villain from his favorite movie, Star Wars. He began the battle against his cancer with the new nickname, “Jedi Gino.” His family and friends’ new motto for him became, “May OUR force be with you.”
After completing a 54 week treatment plan that included chemo and 28 radiation treatments to both his hand and femur, he was declared clear on his scans in November 2011. This was the best day of our lives. He was free!
In January 2012, Gino relapsed. It was more devastating this time. An egg size tumor was found in his brain and the tumor was back in his right hand as well. He fought so valiantly every step of the way. Throughout his journey, he maintained his faith in God and inspired others to grow in their faith. He touched the lives of many.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by sarcoma cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Sharing your story can be such an inspiration to others who are dealing with sarcoma in their own life and remind us all of the urgency to find better treatments in order to make an impact on the devastation that sarcoma cancer brings. Let your experiences help others become involved with raising awareness!