Middleton boy fights 'like a champ' to overcome cancer

Middleton boy fights 'like a champ' to overcome cancer

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by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 4, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 12:10 AM

CALDWELL -- A lot of folks in Caldwell and Middleton are sporting navy blue bracelets that read, "Fight Like a Champ."

It's a way to support 12-year-old Anthony Moretti, who, in September, was diagnosed with two brain tumors.

Anthony is a 6th grader at Vision Charter School in Caldwell, and lives close by in Middleton. The school, and the whole community have come together to rally behind his fight against brain cancer.

"It's just nice to be able to sit around with my friends, and chat and do homework," said Anthony, who missed some school while he was getting treatment for two tumors. "I'm feeling ten times better than I did."

THE DIAGNOSIS

Anthony's diagnosis came this past summer when he began getting excruciating headaches.

"He was getting more tired, wanting to rest a whole lot more, sleeping a whole lot more," said Anthony's mom, Cindy.

Then, on September 7th, a trip to the hospital revealed the dire nature of Anthony's condition.

"We took him to the ER and said something was wrong," said Cindy. "That weekend he was admitted to the hospital. We had an MRI and we found out he had two brain tumors."

It turns out the tumors have been growing for years. Anthony's chemotherapy started right away, so did the community support.

COMMUNITY PULLS TOGETHER

"Of course it started with tears, we had Anthony since kindergarten," said Vision Charter School principal Wendy Oldencamp. "The teachers came together with a plan to get meals to the family."

And good friends came up with ways to raise money for medical expenses.

"We just got the word out to friends and family," said Danielle Johnson. "The whole community heard about it and we got so many donations."

The seniors at Vision Charter School came up with a great idea too -- selling the bracelets.

"The family motto is fight like a champ, so we got it printed up in his favorite color," said teacher Jason George. "We're hoping to see these on people's wrists all over the place."

On Friday night, there was even a staff versus student basketball game in Middleton to raise money.

"Half of the staff wouldn't embarrass themselves for anyone but Anthony," said Oldencamp.

Anthony had to spend his 12th birthday in the hospital. But a special visit from several Boise State players, including star running back Jay Ajayi, helped to brighten his day.

They gave him a football and a jersey, and they prayed for him. His class at school also contacted the New York Yankees, his favorite baseball team. They sent him a bag stuffed with cool memorabilia.

COURAGE THROUGH ADVERSITY

"When my husband and I are crying, he's the one who has a smile on his face, and strong," said Cindy.

"I feel like I can't make them upset or scared," said Anthony. "So, I just try to give them a positive impact."

Anthony has a message for all of his supporters.

"Just thank you for all the support to help me get through this," he said. "It's just nice to know that everybody cares, I mean they care so much and they are willing to do anything to help."

This young boy is proving he's a fighter.

"We've told him, you gotta fight through this, it's a hard battle, but you're going to make it. You're going to overcome," said Cindy.

If you’d like to buy a FIGHT LIKE A CHAMP bracelet to support Anthony Moretti and his fight against brain cancer, e-mail Vision Charter School teacher Teresa Wilkins at teresawilkins@visioncsd.org, she’ll help you get one!

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