Karate for Kids holding fundraiser for boy with cancer | NevadaAppeal.com

Karate for Kids holding fundraiser for boy with cancer

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Roseanne Cusumano holds a picture of her son, Joey, while at Carson ATA Black Belt Academy in Carson City Thursday. Joey, 11, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease on Feb. 15, 2007, and was in Oakland receiving radiation treatment at the time of this photo. A fundraiser for Joey and another family will be held June 23 in front of the academy.

Roseanne Cusumano said she could tell her 11-year-old son was feeling sick from chemotherapy.

“He would cry,” she said. “He did a lot of crying and he would say, ‘Why me?'”

Her son, Joey, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease earlier this year, and Carson ATA Black Belt Academy is holding a fundraiser for him June 23.

Cusumano said her son found a lump on his neck in January.

“We had to basically take away everything,” she said. “He was home-schooled from February on and he didn’t get to come here.”

“A lot of stuff was taken away,” Cusumano said. “He cried because he just wanted to be a normal little boy.”

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Joey’s instructor at the academy, Shawn Goodner, said he hopes to raise $5,000 for Joey, a boy Goodner described as a “dedicated and talented student.”

Cusumano said her son loves martial arts.

“It just gives him something to do, and he keeps him out of trouble. He’s learning a lot,” she said.

Joey, who will enter sixth grade in the fall, has tried to practice during the last few months, but it’s difficult to do for him because he’s so weak.

“He can hardly get through a form now where before he could be here all day,” Cusumano said.

Next Friday, Joey will be done with his treatment and his mom hopes the disease will stay in remission.

Right now, he’s in Oakland getting radiation treatment.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Hodgkin’s disease is an uncommon cancer of the lymphatic system that causes cells in the system to grow abnormally. As the disease progresses, it compromises the body’s ability to fight infection.

It most commonly affects people ages 15-40 and people older than age 55, killing about 1,300 Americans each year. However, death rates for this disease have dropped by 60 percent since the 1970s because of advances in treatment.

If you go

What: Fundraiser for 11-year-old Joey Cusumano who has Hodgkin’s disease. There will be a child safety course earlier that day at the same location

Where: Carson ATA Black Belt Academy, 3723 S. Carson St., adjacent to Raley’s

When: 2 p.m. June 23

Cost: $5 a ticket.

Call: 883-5425

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.