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BELMONT CRAGIN — Lucas “Bear” Cervone inspired bodies throughout the world.
The 5-year-old Belmont Cragin boy acquired all-embracing absorption this bounce aback his ancestors asked for bodies to accelerate them altogether cards. Lucas, who had already battled blight twice, had an cureless bump and they anticipation they could abruptness him with the cards and advice him feel better.
The Cervones asked for 500 cards, but Lucas’ story accomplished added than they’d anticipated. Bags of cards from all over the apple came in. Time and time again, bodies autograph the belletrist said Lucas was their hero or that he had afflicted their lives and pushed them to achieve article they anticipation impossible.
Lucas “Bear” Cervone was aloof 2 years old aback he was aboriginal diagnosed with leukemia. [Facebook/Lucas buck Heroes]
Lucas died on May 1, but he backward able until the end, his ancestors said. He asked his mother to sing to him and told his parents not to cry.
“If he was afraid afresh he backward adventurous for us and we never knew it,” Anthony Cervone said of his son’s action with cancer.
Now, about two months afterwards Lucas’ death, Anthony and Rina Cervone are crafting a bequest for their son. They accumulate to apprehend the cards that were beatific to him and allege at events. They’ve aloft money for charities that accurate them during Lucas’ action and for Lurie Children’s Hospital.
They’ll accumulate angry blight for Lucas and for families everywhere, the Cervones said.
Lucas was aloof two 2 years old aback he was diagnosed with leukemia the aboriginal time. He was treated, accounted advantageous and took a Make-A-Wish cruise to Legoland. A adept architect created a Lego adaptation of Lucas and they put it by a toy basin at the park, a abiding accolade to Lucas’ action with cancer. He played in the Pacific Ocean with his family.
Just weeks afterwards advancing aback from the trip, he had a ahem and was bruising. Doctors said it was a additional anatomy of leukemia. Lucas was aloof 5 years old.
Lucas accustomed a axis corpuscle displace and chemotherapy. His allowed arrangement was compromised and he had to action off a host of illnesses that larboard him in the accelerated affliction assemblage for about two months. He was on a chase for weeks and was chemically paralyzed. An beginning analysis helped him recover, and he went to rehab, area his parents and experts helped him airing for the aboriginal time in months.
He’d baffled leukemia twice.
Anthony Cervone, Lucas’ father, got a boom to account his son. The boom says “Lucas” in the 5-year-old’s autography and is accompanied by an orange ribbon. [DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer]
But by April 24, Lucas’ abdomen hurt. He fabricated it hurt, Anthony said later: He knew he was dying.
Anthony and his wife, Rina, took their son to the hospital. Lucas said his abdomen affliction was a 10 — unbearable. Through aggregate abroad his affliction had never been added than a four.
After accepting X-rays, Anthony aerial his son onto a barrow and Lucas let out a baby burp. “I feel better,” he said.
Anthony teased him: “If we came all the way bottomward actuality for gas, I’m not activity to be actual happy.”
Lucas smiled and the X-ray artisan laughed.
The doctors capital to explain Lucas’ X-rays in private, but Anthony insisted they allege in advanced of his son. It was Lucas’ activity and he adapted to apperceive what was happening, Anthony said.
So the doctor told them: There was a bump captivated about Lucas’ heart, Anthony said. There wasn’t abundant added they could do. They could extend Lucas’ life, but they couldn’t “fix this.”
Anthony Cervone says Lucas’ parents accustomed his ambition to go home:
“I knelt abutting to him … I told him, I said, ‘You heard the doctor say they don’t anticipate the anesthetic was activity to assignment anymore and that you accept a bump in your chest. And they don’t apperceive what added they can do. But they appetite us to go admiral for tonight and they appetite to booty some added pictures of you, and in the morning maybe we can allocution about article abroad to fix it,’” Anthony said.
“And I said, ‘I appetite to know: Do you appetite mommy and I to accumulate angry to advice get you better? Because if you do afresh I will. I’ll acquisition a way — I’ll — I’ll acquisition article to advice fix it.’
“He said, afterwards alike attractive at me, he said, ‘No, dada, I appetite to go home. I don’t appetite to be actuality anymore.’”
It wasn’t his and Rina’s accommodation to make, Anthony said. They wouldn’t ask him to ache aback there was no cure. Lucas told them what he wanted. His parents would account that.
After doctors begin Lucas’ tumor, as the Cervones headed home and able for the worst, they asked for altogether cards: Lucas would be axis 6 on May 7. They hoped to accept at atomic 500 cards.
Lucas’ adventure advance quickly: The ancestors was on TV and celebrities tweeted about Lucas. Schools beatific packets abounding of dozens of cards handmade by students. Steinmetz Academy Prep had a accumulation of “happy birthday” cards in its advanced appointment so bodies could ample them out and accelerate them to Lucas afterwards alike accepting to leave the school.
Within two days, Anthony said, they had surpassed their goal.
Rina Cervone says Lucas got the cards for his family:
Cards came in from about the apple — Afghanistan, the Netherlands, New Zealand — and the Cervones had to go to the column appointment alert a day to aces up the massive boxes of mail. They couldn’t fit everything at home so they took them to a friend’s house. Bags and bins abounding of cards, toys, posters, stickers and teddy bears anon abounding her basement.
Lucas apprehend the cards with his ancestors at home, but his bloom was declining. His ancestors hosted an aboriginal altogether party, afraid he wouldn’t accomplish it to May 7. He said he capital to see the ocean again, but there wasn’t time.
Lucas received about 20,000 cards afore he died on May 1, his parents said.
Even in his aftermost moments, Rina said, Lucas was stronger than anyone she knew. He told her not to cry and asked her to sing “You Are My Sunshine.”
“… I don’t apperceive how can I be as able as he was,” Rina said. “I apperceive he didn’t get it from me because I’m not as able as he was. He was my rock.
“I absolutely absence him. He fabricated me strong.”
Erica Schomer, a abecedary from Lucas Cervone’s school, helps the Cervones apprehend the altogether cards that were beatific to Lucas. [DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer]
Now, about two months afterwards Lucas’ death, Anthony and Rina anticipate they’ve accustomed about 150,000 cards.
The Cervones gather with ancestors and accompany to go through them on the weekends. They apprehend anniversary card, ambience abreast the ability bodies accept sent, occasionally account a bulletin or a antic out loud.
It was adamantine to go through the cards afterwards Lucas’ death, they said. They cried and would accept to booty breaks.
Now, though, the cards advice the Cervones bethink Lucas.
“The accidental cards that I’m aperture appropriate now and that we’re attractive at, wherever we’re from, our son affected that actuality alike for a moment abundant for them to go, ‘This little boy wants something. I’m activity to booty time out of my day, I’m activity to booty money out of my pocket, to buy him a agenda with the hopes that he’ll see it and it’ll accomplish him happy,’” Anthony said.
“And these altogether cards unfortunately, and I assumption fortunately, accept angry into analysis for us.”
Rina Cervone, Lucas’ mom, reads a agenda that was beatific to her son for his 6th birthday. The cards are allowance the Cervones ache afterwards accident Lucas to cancer. [DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer]
A 16-year-old from Tucson, Arizona, told Lucas she dreamt of activity to academy and belief to acquisition cures for illnesses like his.
“Your dreams are adored and your activity beautiful,” she wrote in one of the cards beatific to Lucas. “You are a accurate hero — alike stronger than Superman — and you accept the ability to accomplish the impossible, possible.”
From Miami: “Life is about actuality blessed alike in the hardest situations and not giving up. That’s absolutely what you’ve been accomplishing and apparent to the world.”
One actuality beatific the ancestors a red cape with a gold brilliant and a “B” on the back.
Others beatific superhero toys, cards that batten and moved, photos, art supplies, bootleg posters, bright banners that formed out: “Happy B-day, Lucas!” His kindergarten chic fabricated a poster and busy it with photos of Lucas and words that declared him: “We absence Lucas. Nice. Smart. We adulation Lucas,” they wrote. “Lucas is in our hearts. He’s a hero.”
Some of the cards beatific to Lucas “Bear” Cervone. [DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer]
Lucas’ adventure affected people, Rina said. His action fabricated them appetite to claiming themselves.
He was a hero for his parents, too, they said.
“He would accomplish us think, ‘Why are you actuality sad? I’m ambidextrous with blight and I’m happy. What’s your acumen not to be happy? There’s annihilation amiss with you,’” Rina said. “It makes you think, ‘Yeah, he’s right. I’ve got everything. I’ve got health, I’ve got a job.’ You may not be rich, but what abroad do you need?”
Lucas afflicted people, his ancestors says:
Lucas’ bequest goes above that: The Cervones raised bags of dollars to buy robots that helped Lucas “go” to school even aback he couldn’t be there. Now those robots will be acclimated to advice added accouchement who are sick.
They additionally hosted claret drives in Lucas’ name and encouraged bodies to assurance up for the Bone Marrow Registry. They accomplished out to the Latino association to animate donations, acquainted that Lucas, who was white and Hispanic, would accept an easier time award a axis corpuscle bout if added Latinos were active up for the Bone Marrow Registry.
Aldermen alike apprehend a bulletin from the Cervones aback calling aloft the city’s Latino citizenry to accord claret added frequently.
The Cervones haven’t chock-full advocating for Lucas and kids like him. They’ve announced at dinners and events. They encouraged bodies to accord to charities that helped them during Lucas’ battles with cancer. They’re still hosting claret drives in Lucas’ name.
Lucas Cervone’s ancestors and accompany accustomed his anamnesis at a 5K for Lurie Children’s Hospital, [DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer]
On May 15, two weeks afterwards Lucas’ death, the Cervones went to Move for the Kids 5K, a fundraiser airing for Lurie Children’s Hospital, area Lucas had been treated. Rina and Franco, Lucas’ earlier brother, absolved in the 5K while Anthony batten to supporters. Attendees had Lucas “Bear” shirts and wore acting tattoos of his name.
Lucas was declared to accept been there, Anthony said. His son was activity to be a “patient champion.” He was activity to advice them accession acquaintance of adolescence cancer. Instead, Anthony and Rina addressed the army afterwards the walk.
“We’ve been asked all day continued why we’re actuality today, and I assumption my alone acknowledgment is: We don’t appetite any added parents to anytime feel what we’re activity appropriate now,” Anthony said. “The blank that we have, the affliction that we have, I assumption all I can achievement is that it drives you to accompany added acquaintance to adolescence cancer, to abutment the hospital, to abutment organizations, to accession money for research, to acquisition a cure.”
More than 4,000 alternate and Lurie Children’s aloft $425,000. It was a almanac for the event.
The Cervones don’t accept a audible plan for the future. They accept agitation attractive at accouchement who are Lucas’ age or activity to his school. They struggled to go to his kindergarten class’s graduation ceremony.
Their accident hits them at night, they said, aback they don’t accept annihilation to abstract them.
“For the aftermost six weeks, I’ve been adage goodnight to a board basin that has Lucas’ ashes in it and a picture,” Anthony said, weeping. He and Rina accumulate a canonizing to Lucas in their bedroom.
Some of the bags of cards that were beatific to Lucas Cervone. [DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer]
They do apperceive they’ll abide to advice bodies in Lucas’ memory. The toys and art food the Cervones have been beatific will be donated. They’re planning to address aback to some of the bodies who beatific them cards.
They’ll use the money to booty a cruise to the Pacific Ocean. Lucas had capital to see the ocean afresh during his final days. Now they’ll advance his ashes there.
They’ll additionally allotment his story. Advocacy will consistently comedy a role in their lives, Anthony said. They’ll accumulate blame for cures for adolescence cancer.
Lucas had talked about actuality a policeman, a firefighter or addition who formed in an ambulance — consistently something who would advice him be a hero.
“It’s hard. I apperceive … some bodies don’t accept how can a 6-year-old be stronger than me?” Rina said. “He was able the accomplished absolute time he was actuality on Earth. He never cried for annihilation in the hospital. He never cried for anything.
“He was absolutely stronger than any of us,” Rina said. “I anticipate I appetite kids like Lucas to see Lucas’ adventure and [know] just that there can be achievement for added kids.”
• Lucas ‘Bear’ Ancestors Helps Lurie Children’s Accession Record-Breaking $425,000
• Lucas ‘Bear’ Cervone Remembered At Funeral With Balloons, Bubbles
• Lucas ‘Bear’ Cervone’s Ancestors Has Accustomed Bags Of Cards
• Lucas ‘Bear’ Cervone, 5, Dies Afterwards Battling Cancer: ‘He Is An Inspiration’
• Hundreds Of Cards Beatific To Lucas ‘Bear,’ 5-Year-Old With Cureless Cancer
• Family Of Boy With Cureless Blight Trying To Accumulate 500 Altogether Cards
• Robot Could Advice Boy, 5, Battling Leukemia ‘Go’ to Academy Afterwards Transplant
• ‘Lucas Bear,’ 5-Year-Old With Cancer, To Get Needed Displace From Germany
• Family of ‘Lucas Bear,’ 5, Asks Latinos to Accord Bone Marrow
• Life-Saving Bone Marrow Bout Needed for 5-Year-Old Battling Leukemia
For added adjacency news, accept to DNAinfo Radio here:
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