Cole’s Story

Site created on February 3, 2020

This hockey season Cole is playing forward with the Miami Toros U16-AA team.  He is a beloved member of the Toro's hockey family and the St. Thomas Aquinas High School where he is a sophomore.  Much of Cole's life has been spent in the hockey rink be it for his games or his brother's.  He and his family are well loved and well known throughout the Florida hockey community and now they need our help.  On February 1st, Cole's parent's heard the words no parents should ever hear, "your kid has cancer."   Cole was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and is beginning treatment at Nicklaus Children's Hospital today.  This site will be used to update everyone on his crusade against this insidious disease as well as place for us to show the Vaccarella family our support.  We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Tracy Vaccarella

Wow. I went back and reread my last journal entry and it brought me to tears. Happy tears of course. So much has happened since that last entry. The 6 Tower team put on such a special celebration when Cole rang that bell, we celebrated with a No More Chemo car parade that absolutely blew us away with the amount of cars that participated, and he had his first chest CT post chemo which was clear 🙏🏻. He had surgery to remove the mediport last week. His PT for the arm/shoulder is increasing. Hair is starting to grow back (individual stragglers), color is coming back into his cheeks, and his smile is bigger and brighter than ever.
Yes, LIFE has been breathed back into our home. Happiness and laughter have resurfaced. Some new normalcy is developing. 
Covid isn’t making things easy, as we still have to protect Cole (because of his immune system, that will take up to 6 months or longer to normalize). So juggling that has been a challenge with our family since we have two healthy kids who want to return to school and sports. But like everything else we’ve been through, we will figure it out as we go.

I wanted to say thank you to Andrea Lorbach for setting up this caringbridge for me that very first week. It was such a time saver for communicating about Cole’s Crusade. 

Thank you for sticking by us, for reading these entries, for caring so much about a teenage boy you may know or may never have met. Our family is forever indebited to your kindness. Your words of hope and faith, of love and friendship, those words lifted us up when times got dark. When we were at our lowest, you sparked a light to show us the way. 

I hope and pray I never have to come back on here for anything other than good news! I wish you all the best, as we round out what has been no doubt, the craziest year ever.

This part of Cole’s journey has thankfully come to an end. But now we navigate this new part (of scans and checkups) over the next five years. It might be even scarier, as there will be a lot of breath holding while we await results each time. One step at a time...

all of our love and appreciation, 
Tracy, Vincent, Cole, Luke and Emma 

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