She said the outpouring of support from family, friends and the community has just been overwhelming.
Jason also had retinoblastoma when he was a baby, so they knew there was a chance it could pass to their children. The couple made sure their infants were screened for that possibility. “There’s no preparation in the world for that though,” Julie said.
It wasn’t until about a month ago that Jason’s co-workers learned of Aiden’s fight against cancer. Kevin Kelly, a supervisor for the streets and sewers division, said they were surprised to learn the news. He, Chris Wodarski and Matt Legault talked it over and planned out a fundraiser to help with the medical expenses. The Duponts don’t know what those bills will eventually cost at this stage, but say their insurance won’t cover everything.
“We just feel that we need to help the family. He’s just a baby,” said Legault. “To see a kid go through that, it’s horrible.” Legault added that “it’s awful for anyone” to contract cancer, but it hits closer to home for him — he has two daughters himself — because Aiden is so young.
The upcoming fundraiser is May 2 at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall, 58 Lowell St., from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and there will be a DJ, cash bar, food and raffles. The Duponts have also launched a GoFundMe page for online donations. The goal is $20,000. So far, $9,800 has come in since March 11.
That includes a $5,000 check the Duponts received last week from the police community. Robert Faherty, the chairman of Cops for Kids With Cancer, presented the family with a check at the Peabody police station along with some gifts — a T-shirt, hat, bumper sticker and toys — for Aiden and Colleen. Peabody officers filled the training room in a show of support along with McGruff the Crime Dog and brought some of their own gifts for the twins.