By Chelsea Karnash
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A little boy is fighting for his life, and one local salon is trying to help.
Pieter, a two-year-old from Indonesia, is battling a rare form of eye cancer called bilateral sporadic retinoblastoma. The cancer already caused him to lose his left eye shortly after birth; now, the disease has reappeared in his right eye.
Luckily for Pieter, his parents were able to bring him to the United States to undergo treatment at Philadelphia’s Wills Eye Institute. Unfortunately, they had to sell their home in Indonesia and use most of their savings to pay for that treatment – over $50,000, with almost $25,000 more still needed to finish Pieter’s treatment.
That’s where Laurentius Purnama, owner of Philadelphia’s well-known Laurentius Salon and a native of Indonesia himself, comes in.
Purnama, who met Pieter and his family at the Church St. Thomas Aquinas in South Philadelphia where his son, Jude, goes to Sunday School, was touched by the family’s story and decided he wanted to host an event to help fund the boy’s treatment.
On Sunday, February 9th, Laurentius Salon will be donating the entire day’s proceeds to Pieter’s family so that they can continue his treatment here in Philadelphia. Customers can make an appointment for any service – cut, color, blowouts, manicures and pedicures – and the cost will go towards Pieter’s battle with cancer.
Additionally, Laurentius will host a silent auction for several mint condition designer handbags, including a Louis Vuitton Mary Kate bag and an Yves Saint Laurent Mombasa bag, as well as other great prizes.
For those unable to attend the one-day fundraiser, Laurentius has also set up a kickstarter fund for Pieter and his family.
“No donation is too small, and each and every donation adds one more ray of hope for Pieter,” the page says.
So far, online donors have contributed nearly $13,000, but more is still necessary to ensure Pieter is able to continue receiving treatment.
“If it’s determined on February 5th that Pieter needs additional treatment, or if another retinoblastoma appears,” Purnama writes, “Pieter’s family has no more options.”