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Little boy who battled cancer gets a lift from area Stop & Shops


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    NEW YORK (WCBS) — A toddler from Staten Island is helping other kids beat cancer, just like he did. His fundraising campaign all starts in the grocery store.

If you’re checking out of Stop & Shop, you can help fund cancer research for kids, just like a very sweet boy CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge met on Tuesday.

Three-year-old Rocco DiMaggio gives a thumb’s up when he sees his own face on a poster for a cancer fundraising campaign.

“Rocco was diagnosed with Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma back in May and he battled until September when he was officially declared in remission,” mother Gabriella DiMaggio said.

As Rocco finishes his own treatment, his family is helping raise money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which saved his life.

“It has been challenging. He’s had two very long surgery totaling over 20 hours. He lost a kidney and adrenal gland, but he still smiles, he still playing like a little boy should,” Gabriella said.

Rocco’s smile can be seen as you enter any Stop & Shop store, encouraging people to donate.

“When you round up your purchase or just donate that $1, $3 or $5, you’re making a monumental difference in the lives of families with children with cancer,” Stop & Shop’s Stephanie Shuman said.

And when you do, a cashier rings a bell to let everyone know you are helping children get specialized care.

“Anybody who is diagnosed with a pediatric cancer, so we treat kids from babies to young adults at MSK Kids. The money raised goes towards finding new treatments,” Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Margaret Rossi said.

Stop & Shop’s Help Cure Childhood Cancer Program has been running in the Tri-State Area for 20 years and has raised $25 million, Duddridge reported.

Rocco’s mom said she is forever grateful for the support.

“It’s a lot to go through. There’s a lot of children battling every day. We have to do our best to get them through it,” Gabriella said.

You can also donate when you buy your groceries online. The campaign is underway now and runs through the end of March.

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