Friends and family are raising money for 11-year-old Anthony Franzini.
A pancake breakfast. It was a simple idea for a great cause.
The goal of the breakfast was to raise money and awareness for 11-year-old Anthony Franzini, a Port Orange resident diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.
For two hours in the morning on Saturday, July 15, members of the community stopped in at Aunt Catfish’s on the River to buy plates of pancakes, talk and support the Franzini family in their own way. Friends of the family put on the fundraiser to help the family while Anthony goes through treatment.
On June 2, Anthony was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, which is an aggressive form of cancer found at the base of the brain.
"This is to support the family, help them as they go through this storm," Laurie Parker, a friend of the family, said. "We want to raise enough money to ease their burdens so they could provide treatment to their son so they don't have to worry about finances. It's important to show that support to them in any way, whether it's financially or prayerfully."
The money raised will go toward the treatment Anthony's parents, Jamie and Al, choose in addition to other expenses, such as medication and insurance, according to family friend Sarah Stephens.
“It’s an inoperable brain tumor, so we’re basically praying for a miracle,” Stephens previously told the Port Orange Observer.
According to Anthony’s GoFundMe page, the Franzinis are considering selling their home to assist in the costs, including treatments not covered by insurance that, according to Stephens, can reach around $400,000.
At the breakfast was Coleen Hall, who is a friends of the family and attends the same church as the Franzinis. Hall said it has been hard knowing what the family has been going through, but that it was also a blessing to see the people who came out to support their cause.
"We're just trying to raise awareness for that," Hall said. "There's not a lot of awareness for DIPG tumors, and we want to raise money for them so that they have no pressure as far as testing and whatever they need to do for Anthony to help him."
According to Anthony's mother, her son is still going through treatments and will finish radiation next Friday, July 21. After that he will continue more treatments.
However, for two hours on a Saturday, Anthony and his family sat in a booth and ate a breakfast of pancakes surrounded by a community rallying together in support.
"It's awesome," Jaime said. "We feel super loved, super supported and super happy."
The Franzini's GoFundMe page can be visited at gofundme.com/anthony-strong-battling-dibg. Residents can also send donations or letters to PO Box 1638 DeLeon Springs, FL 32130.