Two special young boys will be treated to a parade of first responders this Sunday in Waldwick, thanks to Pink Heals of Bergen County.
Both Cole McKeon of Waldwick and Austin “AJ” Katchen of Cliffside Park were diagnosed months apart last year with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that attacks certain types of nerve tissue.
Before his first birthday, AJ had successful tumor resection surgery, the first of several operations. He’s also undergone chemotherapy that kept him hospitalized several months.
Doctors declared AJ in remission last summer, but his immunotherapy and radiation treatments have continued. Two months ago, he began receiving an experimental treatment that will continue for the next year to hopefully ensure that his cancer never returns.
Harsh treatments have ended for Cole.
After 5 rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, 14 sessions of radiation and seven rounds of a trial immunotherapy only available at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, doctors found no evidence of disease this past February.
Cole is continuing a vaccine trial that helps prevent relapse.
With its pink fire trucks and police cars, Pink Heals partners with first responders, local businesses and families to bring love and support directly to families in need, many of whom are dealing with a serious illness.
The nonprofit organization has asked all emergency services – including police and EMS vehicles and fire apparatus -- to participate in the “Emergency Vehicle Rally for Cole and Austin” on Sunday, June 30, in Waldwick.
The entrance to the staging area will be off West Prospect Street and Harrison Avenue.
Staging opens at 11:15 a.m., and the procession begins at 1 p.m.
Signed on so far:
- Allendale Fire Department
- Bergen County Sheriffs Office
- Carlstadt Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Cliffside Park Fire Department
- Demarest First Aid Squad
- Fair Lawn Police Department
- Fair Lawn Fire Rescue
- Fort Lee Fire Department
- Fort Lee Fire Prevention
- Fort Lee Police Department
- Franklin Lakes Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Garfield SWAT Team
- Glen Rock Fire Department
- Glen Rock Police Department
- Glen Rock Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Hackensack Police Department
- Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Hawthorne Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Ho-Ho-Kus Fire Department
- Holy Name Hospital Emergency Services
- Kinnelon Volunteer Fire Company
- Leonia Fire Department
- Life Safety Lighting
- Little Ferry Fire Department
- North Arlington Hose Co.1
- Norwood Fire Department
- Oakland First Aid Squad
- Old Tappan First Aid Squad
- Paramus Fire Department
- Parsippany Heavy Rescue
- Parsippany Rescue Utility
- Pink Heals NNJ
- Ramsey Ambulance Corps
- Ridgefield Fire Department
- River Edge Fire Department
- Ridgewood Emergency Services
- Ridgewood Fire Department
- Saddle River Fire Department
- Tenafly Volunteer Ambulance Corps
- Waldwick Fire Department
- Waldwick First Aid Squad
- Wayne Fire Co. #3
- Wyckoff Fire Department
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.