By Cleve Bryan
WILLINGBORO, N.J., (CBS) — Five-year-old John Marandola is an expert on everything that has to do with firefighting – the equipment, the uniform and most importantly being brave.
John’s battling for his life against anaplastic ganglioglioma, a rare but aggressive malignant tumor on his brain.
The Marandola’s found out about the illness on Memorial Day 2013 and John had to have emergency surgery to remove a tumor half the size of his head.
It’s since grown back to a smaller degree and John is showing symptoms.
“We’re treading in the dark. The doctor’s really doing have any kind of expectation that they can give us, they had originally told us three to nine months and that was 18 months ago,” says John’s mother Faith Marandola.
While doctor’s work with the Marandola’s to make John’s life as long and enriched as possible Evesham Fire-Rescue is tackling another challenge – his bedroom.
One of the effects of John’s current tumor is that it hinders his balance and getting up and down staircases can be dangerous.
The department, which made “John John” an honorary firefighter, wants to create a firefighter themed bedroom-playroom on the Marandola’s first floor that will be fun and medically functional.
“It’s going to have brick theme on the walls just like a fire house, it’s going to have a slide as opposed to a pole,” says Evesham Twp firefighter Jim Heisler who is helping spearhead the project.
Evesham is partnering with the Corner Kingdom Project, a New-Hampshire based organization that specializes in building dream rooms for children facing extreme health challenges.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that this boy is taken care of,” says Heisler.
The fire department is hoping to start building by March but they need to raise at least $10,000 to do the remodeling.
“I’m expecting more miracles from God, the fact that he’s doing so well now is a miracle,” says John’s father Steven Marandola.
For more information, you can visit: www.eveshamfire.org
To learn more about the Corner Kingdom Project, you can visit: www.cornerkingdomproject.org
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