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Girl holding fundraising events to help offset his medical costs

Boy fighting cancer boosted by new friend

Kaitlyn Barrios (r) sits behind her lemonade stand with her neighbor, Bianca Barrios, as she raised money on Sunday, August 6, to help Jaidan Carter’s family cope with his medical expenses as he’s treated for cancer.
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For 6-year-old Kaitlyn Barrios of Throggs Neck, her desire to operate a lemonade stand wasn’t sparked by a need to earn money for herself.

Instead, Kaitlyn wanted to raise money to help a boy in his battle with cancer, according to her mother, Katherine, who is friends with a relative of 7-year-old Jaidan Carter, a boy diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

Jaidan’s story is told on a Go Fund Me page, “Jaidan’s Courageous Cancer Journey,” set up by a family friend, Shanay Delacruz, on July 4. It can be seen online at: www.gofundme.com/JaidanStrong.

In an interview Tuesday, August 8, Katherine said that Sunday, August 6, was Kaitlyn’s first time at running a lemonade stand in front of her home on Revere Avenue, at Harding Avenue.

“I asked Kaitlyn this morning if she wants to do something else, and her next event will probably be a garage sale,” Katherine said. “So I guess we’re going to try and see if we can plan that for him.”

The first customer at the lemonade stand was Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, who happened upon Jaidan and Kaitlyn while he was in the neighborhood going to pick up someone.

Gjonaj said as he started talking to the children and heard what their intentions were, he made a generous donation while buying a cup of lemonade.

“A tear came down the side of my face,” Gjonaj said. “It was very touching.”

Gjonaj said more people need to get involved, do the right thing for the right reason.

“That little boy is going to have a memory of the strangers that supported him and his family forever,” Gjonaj said.

“Kaitlyn didn’t meet Jaidan until the day of the lemonade sale,” Katherine said. “They weren’t friends. I happened to be a friend of his aunt, who happened to mention his story to me.”

When Kaitlyn was asked what she planned to do with the money she made from the lemonade stand, such as perhaps buying a bike, she told her mom, “No, that’s what my allowance is for. I’m going to use this for cancer.”

A week earlier Katherine had received a phone call from a friend, Jeannette, who mentioned that her nephew was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and that the family had a Go Fund Me page.

Her mother asked Kaitlyn if she would like to donate her earnings from the lemonade stand. And Kaitlyn was ecstatic about doing so.

“So we began making posters and flyers,” Katherine said.

Jaidan’s mom, Crystal Torres, describes him on the Go Fund Me page as a sweet and loving kid, extremely smart and very kind.

Before May 1, he was a typical 7-year-old boy.

Jaidan went from being a kid whose biggest battles took place in videogames to a battle where he is now literally fighting for his life, according to Torres.

Jaidan felt severe leg pain on May 1 and during a visit to an emergency room, a diagnosis determined that Jaidan was suffering from stage 4 cancer — neuroblastoma — the third most common type of cancer in children after leukemia and brain cancer.

“He is a warrior showing us the true definition of what strength is,” Torres continued.

The Go Fund Me page is helping with the cost of medical and living expenses, since insurance does not cover all medical needs for children.

The family is responsible for 20 percent of Jaidan’s medical expenses, which may exceed $1,000,000.

Reach Reporter Bob Guiliano at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at bguiliano@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, August 12, 2017
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