Fundraiser For 8-Year-Old Boy Battling Leukemia

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

Leaving a tip at a Maspeth bar this weekend could help a young boy in his fight against a deadly disease.

Anthony Viola will be a guest bartender at Connolly’s this Friday to raise money for Middle Village resident Colin Flood, who is battling leukemia.

Colin was first diagnosed with the disease in December 2011, after he went to the doctor what they thought was a fever. Colin still felt sick a few weeks later and he was sent to the hospital for some tests.

The Flood family got the worst news possible, as Colin was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia on Christmas Eve of that year.

Since then, support has poured out for Colin, who is now eight years old, in an effort to find a cure for his ailment.

A bone marrow drive was held in February 2012 to help Colin, and others like him, find a bone marrow match for the leukemia.

Seven months later, a match was found for Colin, and the bone marrow was injected into his body in hopes of curing the disease.

According to Colin’s father, Kevin, his leukemia went into remission until November 2013, when doctors told them the bone marrow was no longer effective and the leukemia returned.

“It was worse than the first time,” Kevin said, describing his reaction after hearing the bad news. “It’s harder to handle physically and mentally.”

Now the family must start the process over again: doctors must work to put the leukemia into remission again and try to find another bone marrow match for Colin. Kevin said a recent round of chemotherapy had no effect on the disease and they will try other methods to repress the leukemia.

Viola, who has known the Flood family for most of his life, said any amount of money he can raise to help his friend will be a tremendous help to them.

“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “If I can do anything for them at all, it makes me happy.”

Kevin praised Viola for organizing the fundraiser.

“He’s amazing to do this, he really is,” Kevin said.

Between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., all tips that Viola makes during that night will be donated to the Flood family. In addition, prizes will be put up for raffle at the bar, including baseball jerseys signed by New York Mets third baseman David Wright and former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada.

Connolly’s Bar and Restaurant is located at 71-17 Grand Ave. in Maspeth. For more information, call the restaurant at (718) 565-7383.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.