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Loved Ones Say Aching Goodbye To 6-Year-Old Waldwick Superhero

Cole McKeon
Cole McKeon Photo Credit: FACEBOOK

Cancer is its most ruthless when it snatches young innocents, steals their childhood and shatters the hearts of those who love them.

It claimed another when loved ones said goodbye this week to Cole McKeon. He was all of six years old.

“He will never be in pain again. He will never have to do another hospital visit,” Cole’s mom wrote. “If something makes you sad when it ends, it must have been pretty wonderful when it was happening.”

It was.

Cole Patrick McKeon of Waldwick was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma four years ago.

It began with a chronic stiff neck and a visit to the pediatrician. Then came the staggering results.

A mass on Cole’s kidney revealed neuroblastoma, a rare cancer of the adrenal glands that ordinarily affects children under 10. It had spread through his body to his bone marrow.

The odds were stacked miles high against the blue-eyed boy with the Superman cape.

Chemotherapy worked until it didn’t. An immunotherapy trial and other treatments failed, as well. There were infections and antibiotics, viruses and fevers, sudden emergencies that couldn’t be anticipated. COVID gave him pneumonia.

The relentless battering took more than its toll on Cole’s young body.

The cruelest blow came in the breakthroughs that only were followed by relapses, which sentenced Cole to spend much of his remaining life at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Love and support came from all quarters for schoolteacher Stephanie McKeon, for her husband, Kevin, who’s a Ridgewood police sergeant, for their daughter, Emily, who turns four next month – and of course, for their brave little boy.

The local PBA and Stephanie’s co-workers in the Montclair School District got the fundraising ball rolling. There were events, meal trains and more.

Most of all there was a fierce hope that fueled constant and countless prayers by an army of loved ones, friends and strangers who came to be known as “Cole’s Crew.”

Then came Tuesday, Aug. 24.

All Cole Patrick McKeon ever wanted was to be a superhero.

He got his wish. He endured longer than anyone could have rightly expected, doing so with grace and courage.

Then he flew off into the heavens.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, at St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church in Ho-Ho-Kus (340 North Franklin Turnpike), followed by burial in St. Luke’s Cemetery.

Visiting hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Luke’s.

SEE: Cole Patrick McKeon (Feeney Funeral Home)

In lieu of flowers, donations to “ColesCrew” would be greatly appreciated. All funds go to Neuroblastoma Research.

CLICK HERE: Donor Drive for Cole’s Crew

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