New Bedford Nine-Month-Old Boy Battling Brain Cancer
It was a sunless day when Dawn Nunes spoke of the labors she, her ex-husband Glen, their son Nick and his wife Nicole, the parents of nine-month old Rogan Paiva, are enduring.
Around the clock, they are praying their baby beats the brain cancer known as Atypical Tetartoid Rhabdoid Tumor, or AT/RT, a cancer so rare that it only strikes less than 500 children a year.
It has not been easy for the family, but they continue to remain strong.
Rogan Paiva's Treatment for Brain Cancer Is Heartbreaking to Watch
"The chemo is so invasive, and I know it's needed to attack the cancer, but it breaks my heart to know that while the chemotherapy is working, it's also stopping any quality of life for our nine-month-old grandson," Nunes said.
"We all know someone who's had some form of cancer, and that's sad enough, but what Rogan and his parents are going through makes me feel like there's a large, painful pit in the center of my stomach," she said. "No parent wants to face anything like this."
A Fundraiser to Help Rogan Paiva and His Family
As medical bills inevitably pile up and time away from work to care for Rogan has an affect on the family, an appeal is being made to the New Bedford and SouthCoast communities for a helping hand.
"We're going out there to pound the pavement for Rogan by organizing a first-rate fundraiser, with 100 percent of the donations going to the parents to help with rent, daily living expenses, formula, diapers and any health-related baby items," Nunes said.
Glen Nunes is helping to put it all together; he is a seasoned musician and vocalist who performs locally across the SouthCoast. The event, entitled "Rockin' for Rogan," is planned for Sunday, September 19 at noon at the Madeira Feast grounds in New Bedford.
"Even though Dawn and I have been divorced for five years, we're still close," he said. "She's working her chores, and I'm helping organize some of the greatest local bands and acoustical musicians, kids' activities, wine, beer, food and turn the Madeira Feast grounds into an unforgettable event."
An Angel Appears in Fairhaven
He says its unexplainable, but Glen Nunes believes an angel was sent to them recently.
"I was at the Seaport Inn and Marina talking about Rogan to someone, when a petite woman approached me and tapped my shoulder. I turned around and out of the clear blue, this stranger looks me in the eyes and says she's going to help Rogan! Just like that! I still shake my head in disbelief," he said. "She said she owned over two dozen McDonald's restaurants and whenever we have Rogan at Boston Children's Hospital, she'll arrange for us to stay free, as many times as it takes, at the Ronald McDonald House. Not only that, but she asked what else we needed, so I showed her the sheet, and like a genie out of a magic bottle, she says, 'No problem, I'll buy everything' on the lengthy list. She's an angel or a saint who's been sent to help Rogan."
Prayers for Rogan
Glen, Dawn and a loyal committee of volunteers called Prayers for Rogan have a Facebook page with all the information about the all-day event.
"I can't believe the resolve our kids have, handling a thousand little things. I know it's because of their positivity and strong faith in God, and we want to be just as strong for Nick, Nicole and Rogan, who just celebrated 9 months," Dawn Nunes said. "If mom's everywhere can relate to the mama bear in them, Nicole and Nick are grizzlies, and it just blows my mind."