Proceeds to benefit accelerate brain cancer cure


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

MRI day is certainly one of the most stressful days for us and any family dealing with a child having a brain tumor. The MRI lets us know if we get another pass on treatment of the tumor or go into battle mode and treat the tumor. We left at 3:30am Thursday morning to make the 4 1/2 hour trip upto Sloan Kettering. Justin as always, for all his MRI's is very nervous, anxious and scared. Wednesday night like always before a big test, he asks if he can sleep in our bed and of course we say yes. He feel asleep in between Audrey and I. We woke Justin up at 3:15am and he did not want to go, but we put him in the car and thankfully he fell asleep for most of the car ride. We arrived in New York 8am and parked the car in the hospital garage. Justin was very hungry so we had breakfast at a diner near Sloan. One of the benefits of going to Sloan for Justin is he loves the New York hot dogs on the street corner and sure enough after he ate french toast he said " I need a hot dog" and of course we obliged. This was Justin's first MRI that was not sedated so he did not have to fast. We did not have to be at our appointment until 10am so we tried to walk around to keep Justin's mind off his test. Justin got anxious and wanted to go in to the pediatric day hospital early at Sloan. Unfortunately, the scene in the waiting room is one of the saddest experiences any parent will see. There are little children with cancer who have no hair because of chemo, children walking with IV pools and generally a very somber atmosphere. As a parent it is very hard to witness this as you feel so bad for these undeserving children with cancer, but when you are here getting testing for your own child it is incredibly surreal. Justin went into the play area to play Xbox. Justin is such a champ he does not even flinch when he gets his IV put in by the nurse. Our MRI was scheduled for 11:30am but they took us early. Since Justin did this MRI without sedation I was able go back and be with him to comfort him. He was incredibly nervous about the exam and pending results. Fortunately, he received some medicine before the MRI to try and relax him. As he was going into the machine he asked me to rub his legs and feet and talk to him about LeBron James. I talked to him to try and comfort him while rubbing his legs and feet the whole time. He could barley hear me as the MRI machine was so loud. Fortunately, he fell asleep about half way through the MRI. Finally, we finished 1 hour later and I carried him over my shoulders to the waiting room as he was still sleeping. We waited nervously for another hour to see the doctor for an exam and for the results and thank GOD we got a pass as Justin's brain tumor remained stable. We were getting ready to leave and get our car from the garage attendants at Sloan when Justin met a 5 year old boy named Jimmy who left a lasting impression on all of us but especially Justin. Jimmy has cancerous tumors in his eyes where he unfortunately lost one eye and is almost blind in the other eye. This boy was so cute and him and Justin interacted for about 5 minutes with Jimmy's favorite parking attendant named Randolph. You could see the sadness and concern in Justin's eyes for Jimmy's situation. Justin wanted to stay in touch with Jimmy so we gave them a Justin's Quest card with our information to send us an email with their contact information. We got into the car and Justin said he wants to work harder at Justin's Quest to help Jimmy and others. We got pizza for the car ride home. It is days like this as a parent with a child with a very serious medical condition, that you reflect and try and appreciate every moment you have with that child and your family. Lastly, Justin had a hard time sleeping that night because he was so concerned for Jimmy and he wanted to help find a cure so Jimmy could see again. We are so proud of Justin and his resolve to fight for the brain tumor community.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Big Break

Today was truly amazing for Justin. Justin was invited to shoot hoops with the University of Maryland men's soccer team at the Comcast Center. Coach Sasho Cirovski invited Justin and our family to meet some of his players and shoot hoops. Justin and his brothers' Jacob and Joey played knockout and a full court game. It was awesome. Sasho even presented Justin with an autographed ball from the whole team and an authentic MD soccer jersey. What made this day even more special was the TV news coverage we received from Fox 5 news and from WJLA. Go to and to to watch the news coverage of the event. Justin was so excited that he got to meet all the wonderful people today and see himself on TV. He really feels like he is making a difference by raising awareness and trying to find a cure for brain tumors. We want to thank ZiZ, the Associate AD Of Maryland and Sasho for making this wonderful day happen. Justin cannot fall asleep tonight as he is so excited from today. Overall 110 shots were made that day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bullis School 3 V 3 Tournament

The Bullis School was so gracious in having a 3 V 3 basketball tournament where all the proceeds would benefit Justin's Quest and NBTS. The event was a huge success as about 100 people attended and raised almost $1000. Justin had a great time as he played on 2 different senior teams and he even scored 2 baskets. Everyone was so nice to Justin and our family. We appreciated the opportunity to raise awareness and money to help find a cure for brain tumors. Overall, that night 500 shots were made toward our goal and Justin and his brothers and cousins shot another 125 shots over the weekend.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Wonderful Meeting With Senator Casey Of PA

Justin, Myself, Audrey, Jeff Kolodin Vice Chair of NBTS, and his 2 kids, Lauren and Michael had the esteem pleasure and honor to meet Senator Robert Casey, Jr. of PA for about one hour in his private office. Senator Casey listened intently as we discussed Justin's Quest to help raise awareness and find a cure for brain tumors. It was clear that the Senator was moved by Justin's story and would like to shoot hoops with Justin. Senator Casey's office was the office that President Kennedy used when he was a Senator. The history of the building was amazing. Justin posed with pictures with the Senator and Justin gave him an autographed picture of himself and a Justin's Quest wristband and the Senator autographed a basketball for Justin. The Senator was gracious and gave Justin a memento from the funeral of his father the late Governor Robert Casey Sr.. It was a card that described what a wonderful and strong person his father was. Senator Casey pulled Justin aside and described this card and told Justin how strong and courageous his father was in fighting his illness. Senator Casey said that Justin has those same qualities and praised Justin and everyone in the room were very moved by his kind words. Lastly, before we all said our goodbyes, Justin asked the Senator to deliver his handwritten message to President Obama telling him about his quest and inviting the President to shoot with him. Senator Casey agreed to deliver Justin's letter. It was a great day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rainy Weekend

It poured all weekend, so it was an indoor basketball shooting weekend. Justin had 3 friends sleep over Friday, Brian, Isaac and Justin. They shoot hops and played video games. They shot a total of 200 hoops Friday night and Saturday Morning. Today Justin and his brothers shot another 75. Time for bed early because everyone is tired from Daylight savings time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

University Of Maryland Women's Soccer Team

Yesterday was a special day not only for Justin but his 2 younger brothers' Jacob and Joey. Coach Brian Pensky of the U of MD womens' soccer team had contacted me weeks ago very interested in Justin's plight. He expressed interest to help out Justin in any way. He graciously invited Justin to meet his team at a practice and then we will arrange a day very soon to shoot with the team for Justin's Quest. Well the day came and Justin, Jacob and Jory eagerly came to the practice prepared all decked out in soccer gear to participate. To our surprise Coach Pensky, gave the kids authentic Maryland soccer gear in the parking lot. You could see the little smile on their faces and appreciation. Then they met the girls, need I say more. The girls were so nice and the boys had sheepish grins on their faces. Coach Pensky and his assistants were great as they invited the boys to do drills with the girls and they eagerly participated and then the boys helped coach a scrimmage. It was a great day because not only was Justin excited but Jacob and Joey got some much needed attention. The day ended with a group picture and an exchange with Justin that the team will be in touch with Justin via facebook. We are so appreciative that Coach Pensky and the team gave the kids this great experience. After practice Justin and his brothers came home and shot 70 baskets outside.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Washington Capitals vs Dallas Stars

What an unbelievable night yesterday. Justin and I were invited by Raul Fernandez, one of the Capitals' owners to attend the game versus the Dallas Stars in the owners suite. Justin was so excited and so was I. The suite was beautiful and had a great view of the ice. There was so much food. Justin had carrots, m&ms, popcorn and soda. That was for starters. In between the first break they served us an elaborate dinner in a private dinning room. The game was so exciting as it was Justin's first hockey game. The game went into overtime and then a shootout and unfortunately the Caps lost. The best part of the night for Justin was how nice Raul Fernandez and Ted Leonsis, the majority owner of the Capitals, were to him. Justin was so excited as he said to me" dad it is so cool and nice of these very important men are concerned about me, it makes me feel special". Also, today Justin shot hoops outside with his 3 brothers and totaled 75 hoops. Lastly and very exciting ,was Justin and the family were interviewed for an article for the Bethesda magazine.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunny Weekend

The weather was awesome finally. Justin and his friends, Isaac and Brian shot hoops on Friday after school outside and in the basement. They shot a total of 75 baskets. Saturday and Sunday Justin shot outside with his brothers and cousin Jared. They shot a total of 175 baskets.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Sun Is Coming Out

Finally the weather has been better so Justin can shoot some hoops outside. This week Justin and his brothers after homework shot hoops and played games. This week 200 shots were made.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Big Time Basketball Games

Justin, myself and his 3 brothers played alot of games against each other this weekend. You could say it was a big tournament. It was very tiring and alot of fun. We shot 500 baskets and it was very productive to Justin's Quest.