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Family fighting childhood cancer gets special Christmas gift

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Gia Gentile’s doctors said her illness was viral and “it would just go away,” but her mom knew it was something more.

Then on Nov. 1, 2016, their lives changed when Gia was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that affects kids between the age of 1 and 6.

The news shattered the Gentile family – then they found the nonprofit Band of Parents, an organization started by families who desperately wanted better treatment for their children who were battling neuroblastoma.

“Ten years ago these parents came together to fund these nontoxic trials that have truly saved so many lives,” Gia’s mom said. “I know that the vaccine trial that they have now has a 90 percent success rate.”

That gave the Gentiles hope and while the last year was filled with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, their prayers were answered in October when it was official: Gia showed no evidence of disease and is cancer free.

But the Gentiles have not stopped giving back to the Band of Parents. Last year’s Gia’s Glam Gala raised $55,000 with no sponsors, her mom said.
They raised another $12,000 for the organization through Gia’s Spirit Week and donated half the money raised from a GoFundMe page that garnered nearly $100,000.

This past week, the Band of Parents gave the Gentiles one more present. They teamed up with the Garden of Dreams to bring them to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular where they met the Rockettes and Santa.