MOONACHIE, N.J. — Christmas came early in Moonachie for Austin Macalintal.
On Saturday, members of the Moonachie Fire Department -- along with help from Santa Claus -- delivered bags of NY Giants memorabilia and a $500 check to the energetic 8-year-old battling osteosarcoma.
Austin was so moved by this gesture of kindness from MFD he stood with the help of his walker for a few pictures and shook hands with Santa and all the firefighters who greeted him.
"It was a very special moment for all, seeing the smile on Austin and his family’s faces as we all stood together," MFD President Victor Migliorino said.
More than $25,100 had been raised as of Sunday evening on a GoFundMe page for Austin, who was also the recipient of the Moonachie Police Department's No Shave November campaign.
On July 31, Austin's doctors found a tumor on his right distal femur (the thigh bone just above the knee), and diagnosed him with Osteosarcoma -- a cancerous tumor that develops from bone cells, osteoblasts, which start in the ends of long bones.
Austin can no longer walk on his own. He must wear a heavy brace to protect the weakened leg, and he now uses a pediatric wheelchair and walker to move around.
"He is such a positive and strong-spirited young man," said the GoFundMe founder, Florence DeGuia. "We know he can fight this."
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