MEDFORD (CBS) — Teens in Medford spent Friday supporting a classmate who battling cancer through love and donations. It was a “Derek Day” at the McGlynn Middle School, and it wrapped up with a party on the ice, with a strong message: we are with you.
Thirteen-year-old Derek Marino is in the fight of his young life. “It went from a cough, to possibly walking pneumonia, to all of a sudden, telling us he has lymphoma,” said Derek’s mother Katie Marino.READ MORE: MBTA Expert Says Trolley Accidents Like Friday's Crash Typically Caused By 'Human Error'
“I got diagnosed at the beginning of September. It’s been a little tough, but I’ve been getting through it,” Derek said. He’s gotten through three rounds of chemo with more to come, followed by radiation.
But his school and the city of Medford have rallied around him. “It means everything. I could never ask for so much support from people,” Derek said.
Derek Day started at the McGlynn Middle School with a special assembly and ended at the LoConte Ice Rink where hundreds of his fellow students turned out to say they’re behind him. They raised money to help his family fill in the gaps and they had a lot of fun.
“He’s one of my best friends. I’ve known him since second grade,” said eighth-grader Frankie Caruccio.READ MORE: Jamaica Pond Closes Water Activities Until Further Notice Due To Algae Bloom
“I think a lot of people are coming together and helping him because of how big a deal this is, and how good of a community we are,” said seventh-grader Trey Flaherty.
“It makes him feel supported and he’s not alone,” said eighth-grader Ryleigh Mulvihill.
McGlynn principal Nick Tucci spearheaded the effort. “I want him to understand this is Medford coming together strong, to support him and his cause and win this battle against lymphoma,” Tucci said.
The school also put together a video of well-wishers for him, which included Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Patriots player Deatrich Wise Jr., Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco, and even the WBZ-TV news team.MORE NEWS: Service Resumes On Green Line Hours After Crash, Operator On Leave
“It’s insane how many people have come out, and helped with everything. It means the world. It really does,” said Derek.