NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–On December 31, Angel Aguilar, a five-year-old boy living in New Brunswick, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a malignant form of cancer which typically strikes during early childhood.
This form of cancer is profoundly resistant to all forms of treatment, and the last few decades of research have shown little improvements in cure rates or treatments.
Angel’s form of cancer cannot be surgically treated due to the high risk involved; the current option medical practitioners have taken is radiation with the intention to shrink the tumor located on the stem of his brain.
His family members started an online fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.com, where the elaborated on his condition:
[Doctors] explained that the tumor is making my child’s motor skills declined. His legs were weak, the drooling, his speech, the trouble eating and drinking.
The only thing that maybe could work was radiation to shrink the tumor in my baby’s brain. But eventually the body [will] start building antibodies and it won’t work anymore and the cancerous tumor will come back.
I accepted whatever they were saying and agreed to start radiation for the next two months, five days a week. And now all i can hope for is for a miracle to happen,” stated Angel’s mother on the fundraising web page.
After completing two months of radiation treatment, Angel’s nurses, doctors, and a child life therapist threw him a surprise party.
Angel is currently in kindergarten, and attends Livingston Elementary School, where he visits his friends, both classmates and teachers.
Families whose children attend Livingston Elementary School have been especially involved in helping the Aguilar family through the adversity they face.
Outside of school he enjoys getting lessons from his music teacher and spending time with family and friends.
Angel hopes to soon be able to go on vacation to Disney World with his brother and sisters.
Recently, members of the Make A Wish Foundation visited the Aguilar family and will be providing additional support to help make Angel’s hope a reality.
His mother Areli Aguilar, aunt Jocelyn Aguilar, and uncle Abel Aguilar, have been successfully organizing and raising donations thanks to an outpouring of support of the New Brunswick community, to provide for Angel’s family and treatment.
So far, through the web page “Angel Will Never Fight Alone,” 66 supporters have raised $3,850 directly for Angel’s family to support the cause, with a goal of $10,000 dollars.
Supporters have been promoting donations among their social networks in order to reach out to as many people as possible, and the Aguilar family has expressed how grateful they are to be part of such a supportive community.
“We have reached an amount that we thought was never possible,” wrote a member of his family on the GoFundMe page. “May God bless all and everyone that takes their time out of their busy schedule to help out my little nephew and his family.
With love and support from his family, friends, and the New Brunswick community, many have joined to provide hope and ensure that Angel will never fight alone.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.