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

Another week down of chemo. 🙌🏻

Unfortunately, we’re still here in the hospital; his level didn’t clear on Thursday or today. So, we will hopefully go home Saturday morning, once they check him at 6am. Fingers crossed. 

This admission, Cole didn’t eat much or drink much. He started puking Monday as soon as we got here. He never really left the bed. He did, however, sleep a ton. We will need to work on gaining back these lost pounds once we are home for the whole day and half we will be there (enter sarcasm). And thanks to this awful pandemic, Luke and Emma don’t get to see their brother all week (in person). They make such a big difference in his hospital life, and it really cheers him up when they are able to spend the day. But we completely understand the importance of the safety measures in place for the patients. We are grateful for the steps being taken to protect the kids. And, we we get to FaceTime anyway. I also want to give a shoutout to my friend, Karla Filosa, who texted me everyday this week to come to my 6th floor window. Every time I looked out of the window, she stood below holding up cardboard signs with inspirational messages. Love her to pieces. 

THE most important part of this week was the news we received today regarding Cole’s scans. The chemo is WORKING! The tumor is a little smaller, and it is showing some signs of necrosis. We won’t know until he has surgery, just exactly how much cell death there is (hoping for 99.9%), but it definitely sounds like we are moving in the right direction. Thank you to everyone storming the heavens with prayers. It’s working. ♥️

April 17th is the big day; it’s the day we get that crap out of him. But it’s also the day that his life will forever be changed. You see, removing the cancer will require Cole to make huge sacrifices. As the Dr stated so straightforwardly, Cole will have to make major changes in aspirations, interests, and hobbies in order to save his life. And the goal is to save his life, save his limb, and save whatever function they can. The rest we will figure out. There’s a long, long list of things they say he will never be able to do again. I think, you don’t know my son. You don’t know how many people are lifting him up in prayer. Because those two together are a strong and miraculous combo. People always say Cole is so freakishly fast, and freakishly strong. I say he will freakishly heal like nothing they’ve ever seen before. Time will tell. And we will cross that bridge when we come to it. One day at a time. 

The road is still long, but we are making progress. Day by day. Week by week. It’s not easy. Cancer is an asshole. Chemo is a beast. Some days are so much harder than others. You watch your child suffering, knowing there’s nothing you can do to make it better. But then you hear the news that the chemo is working. And finally, you can believe that eventually, better days are coming. 

So for now, we rejoice in the good news. We embrace the rocky road coming our way knowing that soon, this cancer will be out of his body. We look forward to being home all together Saturday and Sunday. You have to look for the positives. Always. 

Words will never be enough to truly express our deepest gratitude. But I’ll continue to try to express it...Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, for loving us, praying for us, supporting us, looking out for us. Your prayers are being heard. We are forever grateful. Stay safe and stay healthy in this very scary time. 💛

To be continued...


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