The community is rallying for an 8-year-old Hawthorne girl whose cancer battle became even more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than $15,500 had been raised as of Monday morning on a GoFundMe to help the Posada family.
Stephany Posada was vacationing with her family in Myrtle Beach last summer when she collapsed in their hotel room. She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Stephany began chemotherapy in South Carolina immediately. After four long weeks, Stephany was stable enough to fly home to New Jersey to resume treatment in Hackensack.
The cancer started as a tumor covering most of Stephany's chest and spread to her bone marrow.
Because her treatment is so strong, Stephany suffers from neuropathy, is confined to a wheel chair and is almost always in pain. She loves animals and, because she has to stay inside most of the time, hasn't seen her friends in months.
Stephany has been out of school because of her weakened immune system, and will be continuing chemotherapy treatment for two more years, according to her dad Eduardo Posada.
COVID-19 has added another layer of fear and financial strain on the Posada family.
"It has been hard," said Posada, a waiter at Blue Moon in Wyckoff. "We are afraid she or any one of us get infected especially because her immune system is very weak. Our economic situation has been difficult since last year when all this started."
Posada's colleagues described him as one of the most hardworking staff members at the Wyckoff restaurant.
"He is one of the reasons why this restaurant is so successful," said Sam Collins, who has known Posada since 2013.
"He was one of the people who stood out the most because he was so welcoming to me and one of the most hard working people I’ve ever met. If he wasn’t working at the restaurant, he was doing other side jobs and always with a smile.
"Eduardo really is just a special person that always puts his family first."
"Stephany, we know your Daddy from Blue Moon," Karen and Brian Pobanz wrote on the campaign, "and he is one of the kindest guys our family has ever met."
"Truly the strongest family, my prayers are with each one of you," Erin Pryor added. "Stephany you are an absolute star!!"
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.