Christopher Timpone is 9 years old, the oldest of three brothers. He’s a bright student at Aquebogue Elementary school, an athlete, and by all accounts a great kid.
But about a month and a half ago, Christopher was examined for a lump in his neck, which doctors at first thought was just a swollen gland. After a course of antibiotics proved ineffective, a CT scan revealed it was no ordinary lump — it was a tumor.
Following a biopsy and an anxious week for his family, Christopher was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare but treatable form of pediatric cancer.
Now the Timpone family’s friends and relatives are calling on the community to help Christopher fight the disease.
Dawn Thomas, Christopher’s aunt and a former Riverhead Town attorney, said the road to recovery will take about a year for her nephew, who will have to endure chemotherapy, surgery and possibly radiation.
“It’s lengthy and intense,” she said of the treatment.
Christopher started chemo almost immediately after the Oct. 14 diagnosis and began daily trips to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center during treatment weeks. Christopher’s mother, Kathleen, a teacher’s aide at Aquebogue Elementary School, must take time off during the treatments and when her son isn’t feeling well.
In addition to her lost wages, the family also has to pay $30 a day for parking, as well as gas and tolls to make the trips to Sloan-Kettering.
Christopher’s dad, Thomas, is a plumber and cannot take much time off work. The family has two other sons, Johnathan, 7, and Zachary, 5, who also attend Aquebogue Elementary School.
But Christopher’s doctors say his prognosis looks good. Those with a localized tumor, like Christopher, have a high survival rate, with children under the age of 10 having the best odds, according to the American Cancer Society.
“It’s very treatable,” Ms. Thomas emphasized.
Ms. Thomas said that when the treatment is complete, her nephew will be able to return to his normal routine of golf, lacrosse and wrestling, to name a few of his hobbies.
“The kid can do anything,” she said.
To help with the family’s expenses, the Timpone’s friends and family have organized a Nov. 10 fundraiser at The Eagle’s Landing at Calverton Links golf course. It will run from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres. There will be a cash bar and a Chinese auction. Checks can be made payable to Courage, Strength and Faith for Christopher and mailed to PO Box 894, Shoreham NY, 11786.
Those who would like to make a meal for the family can sign up at Takethemameal.com and search for the Timpone family. The password is KFC. To keep up with Christopher’s progress, visit the Facebook page, Courage, Strength and Faith for Christopher.