Spaghetti dinner to benefit North Huntingdon toddler with cancer
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 1:11 a.m.
Norwin High School student council and White Oak Rotary Club are coming together to support a North Huntingdon Township toddler and her family.
Mila Eve Sacramento was diagnosed with choroid plexus carcinoma — a very rare and highly aggressive malignant brain tumor that affects the central nervous system — on Oct. 10, two days after her third birthday.
She is the daughter of Dawn Sommers and her fiancé Neal Sacramento, 1996 Norwin graduates.
“Of course it's devastating hearing your 3-year-old has brain cancer,” Neal Sacramento said.
Mila underwent surgery on Oct. 15 to remove 90-95 percent of the tumor, then started her first round of chemotherapy.
Sacramento said the family has spent many nights at Children's Hospital of UPMC and the Children's Institute in Squirrel Hill, and Mila has at least three more rounds of therapy to go.
“This battle hopefully is on its way out,” he said. “We don't know exactly what the road holds for her. There are some people who get three or four cancers. We're hoping Mila's not one of those and doesn't go through that pain and suffering. We're just taking it one day at a time.”
Mila has endured several surgeries, procedures and exams. She recently was diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a rare disorder caused by a mutated gene, which greatly increases her risk of developing several types of cancer.
“She's doing good,” Sacramento said of his daughter's spirits. “Her personality is almost back to normal. I think she doesn't really understand (her condition), which is good. When we were at the hospital, she kind of got used to it because we were there for so long. She's a fighter. She's a strong-willed person. A lot's happened to her.”
A spaghetti dinner is scheduled for Sunday.
Ryan Lynn, Norwin student council's advisor and a White Oak Rotary member, attended school with Mila's parents.
He talked to the student council about the family and a possible benefit for Mila when he heard about her condition.
“Being the kids that they are, they all jumped on board,” Lynn said.
Support began to swell as the Rotary and others learned of the family.
“We had some unbelievable business donors step up that have been just absolutely tremendous in regards to helping to cut down the costs to pull this off,” Lynn said.
Sacramento said proceeds will pay for medical bills and other items Mila needs.
“Everyone's been so great and so supportive,” he said. “Any little bit helps, of course, but it's nice to have people in your corner supporting you. It is difficult. I'm sure there are people out there who don't have the support that we have and are going through a lot of tough times. It's definitely nice to know that thoughts and prayers are with you, and people are behind you. It makes things a lot easier.”
Mila's father said she is looking forward to returning home to play with her dog Niko and watch Disney movies.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 40 McKeesport kids to go to summer camp for free
- Gubernatorial candidate Wolf touches base with McKeesport voters
- Elizabeth businesses expand despite traffic woes, road issues
- Duquesne man dies in crash
- McKeesport aerobic fundraiser for cystic fibrosis challenges attendees
- McKeesport history center highlights women’s roles in Civil War
- Elizabeth resident charged in fuel theft
- McKeesport middle school student struck by dump truck dies in hospital
- Testing raises methane concerns in Versailles
- McKeesport-area officials on lookout for landslides
- West Mifflin park, Ryan Hacke Memorial Playground to benefit from ‘Heart’ program