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"Built Strong To Crush Cancer"

We first met the Modestin Family in the summer of 2009. Their two year old son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia – known in the world of cancer as ALL – in September of 2008. He immediately began an aggressive protocol of chemotherapy. Early in his treatment Nicholas suffered a mild stroke which left him with severe weakness in his legs and also in his hands. During the next treatment, doctors discovered an adrenal mass in Nicholas’ left side which had to be surgically removed immediately.

Despite all these setbacks, chemo continued, and Nicholas underwent a successful bone marrow transplant. His active cancer treatment took about 3 ½ years and he did achieve remission!! Twelve years later Nicholas is now cancer free!

We recently had a lovely email from the Modestin family, along with a middle school graduation picture of Nicholas, who is now attending the Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Brooklyn.

We don't have all the words to express our feelings of gratitude. Today is a beautiful day, because God sent us a family of love and caring that is the Frances Pope Foundation. Your foundation came into our lives when we could not pay rent, when neither of us could work, and Nicholas could not walk because of his stroke.

Because of your contribution and kindness, Nicholas is alive and cancer free today. You gave my family hope and made us feel that we were not alone but rather had a hand to hold in crisis and in happy times. A sickness sometimes separates family, but The Frances Pope Foundation brought us strength and unity. Yes, you helped with our economic problems, but you also took the time to get to know our family and call to see how things were really going.

One of the greatest moments in our lives, was watching Nicholas take small steps on the road of walking again. His ambition is to get back to 100% strength and running full speed, his motto is "Built Strong To Crush Cancer".

Nicholas is blessed and honored to have great people around him who make sure every day is a beautiful day. The day we finally met the Mary's (Mary O’Dowd and the late Mary Neary) was a special day full of joy and happiness that will forever be in our hearts. Your dedication to helping families and bringing families together during their toughest time - when a child is diagnosed with the deadly disease - shows the determination in your heart of what you stand for.

-- Nicholas, Adriana, and Felix Modestin Jr.

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