When 3-year-old Alyssa Cassarino of North Reading, Mass., became ill with leukemia, she didn’t have to face her fight alone. The daughter of Officer Frank Cassarino of the Medford Police Department, Alyssa and her family received an outpouring of support from the city’s local police and fire departments. Each September, the two departments compete against one another in a charitable softball game, and this year they decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), where Alyssa is being treated. Raising more than $3,500, the group was able to purchase toys, books and DVDs for patients at the clinic. On Oct. 29, members of both departments along with Alyssa; her sister, Samantha; her mother, Jen; and Frank visited the clinic to personally deliver the items.
“We chose the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit because of the truly wonderful work that they perform on behalf of children with cancer,” says Officer Jack Buckley, who organized the police department’s donation. “Their dedication and devotion to a family-centered clinic truly make the organization worthy of our support.”
OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT: Medford Police and Fire department representatives and the Cassarino family donate gifts to the MGHfC.