Local 5-year-old battling leukemia like a superhero; family could use some help
Published - 04/29/15 - 05:55 PM | 9085 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Roc Wooldridge
Roc Wooldridge
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Family and friends of Roc Wooldridge, a lively, energetic, and hilarious 5-year-old Ocean Beach boy diagnosed with leukemia, are hosting fundraisers to help defray his medical expenses.

Roc is the best at quoting movies as well as being the biggest Marvel Comics fan ever. He was recently diagnosed with leukemia and began chemotherapy.

The fundraising campaign at GoFundMe.com is to help Roc fight this battle and also to help out his parents, James and Aimee Wooldridge, care for Roc and his four siblings, one of whom suffers from autism.

Thus far, in only 14 days, a total of 35 people have donated nearly $3,100 at GoFundMe to help Roc and his family. “We’ve set a goal for $10,000 — but we’ll take anything,” said Roc’s aunt Lydia Cossio, who noted her brother Jim has been unable to work recently while he cares for Roc and his siblings while Roc’s undergoing chemotherapy.

“The money will help keep up the household as well as take care of Roc’s medical needs,” said Cossio, noting the whole experience has been “emotionally draining” for her brother and sister-in-law, who are dealing with two children with special needs.

Fundraisers for Roc

-Pizza Port in Ocean Beach after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12.

-From 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, June 14 at Winston’s, 1921 Bacon St.

-Donate at: www.gofundme.com/TheRocWFund

-To learn more, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/rocwooldridge/mystory

“I love all of my family members and my friends from church and school and I know they love me too,” said Roc Woolridge in a blog commenting that “Leukemia cells are not very nice, making a mess inside my body and destroying all the good cells that my body needs to stay healthy."

"Roc is a very sweet boy who loves school and playing with his friends," said his Ocean Beach preschool teacher, Kathy Burchett. "He is an excellent artist and is really good at drawing anything, especially The Hulk.

“Roc enjoys learning, and was always a very good listener during our group times.  He would always participate in class discussions and was a great example for the other children."

Burchett said Roc "played with everyone. If someone had a game going on that he thought was fun, he'd be right in there playing with them. He would be the dragon, trying to rescue the princesses (girls) from their castle outside on the play structure, or a superhero with the boys playing The Avengers.

“We miss him so much in our Ocean Beach Elementary Preschool classroom; we talk about him every day,” she said.

“We even have a big stuffed animal (monkey) that the doctors gave to Roc, called Monkey, in my chair. We take pictures with the monkey, and write letters to Roc, so the monkey can bring them home for Roc to read. We also give the monkey lots and lots of hugs! This makes the kids feel like they have a connection to Roc and visa versa."

Noting the type of leukemia he’s afflicted with is called B-ALL and that the cure rate is 90 to 95 percent, Roc said, “My doctor said I have to stay in the hospital so that they can give me the medicine that will help kill all the leukemia cells.

“I need to take the medicine for 3 1/2 years so I will be 8 1/2 when I'm all done. The good news is, I don't need to stay in the hospital all that time. As soon as I start feeling better I can go home. I'll continue taking my medicine and will see my doctor once a week.”

Roc pointed out the medicine he needs to take is chemotherapy.

“When you have to take chemotherapy you sometimes don't feel as much energy as you used to have, because the medicine is working so well your hair also falls off,” he said.

“I'm happy that I don't have to have an IV anymore, but I have a special portacath on my chest that's connected to a vein in my heart. It looks a lot like what Iron Man has on his chest that helped him stay alive. I receive chemo through this portacath, and they also can check my blood from it.”

Roc said his mom will continue writing his story “because she knows that there are a lot of people who care for me and want to know how I'm doing. My parents are praying for me to get better and live a very long, happy life.

“One day I will get to thank and meet all the wonderful people that came alongside my family and I to support us. Thank you for caring during this challenging time when our faith in the Lord, love, prayers and support will carry us through."

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