Rimersburg Girl Gives Birthday Presents to Help Cancer Patient

Rimersburg-Cancer-Gift-e1486752318407RIMERSBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Rimersburg is one of those towns where people stick up for their own and try to help their neighbors.  One little girl recently decided to do something special for her 10th birthday – give her presents to a family in need.

(Neveah Smith pictured with Bill Coradi)

Nevaeh Smith and her mother, Lacy Smith, were planning a birthday celebration shortly after Christmas, and Nevaeh decided she wanted to ask for monetary donations to give to a family dealing with cancer.

“When I ask her what she wanted to do, she said she would like to have a skating party,” said Lacy. “I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she said she thought she could just ask for monetary donations.  She said she had plenty of presents from Christmas and wanted to give the money to a family in need. She asked if there was anyone in town dealing with cancer.”

The fourth grader at Rimersburg Elementary is a busy girl who is also involved heavily with Dancer’s Studio in Clarion.  She takes nine hours of dance a week, and she’s on the competition team.

Lacy told her about Bill Coradi of Rimersburg who has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has two young sons.  Coradi is a special education teacher with Riverview Intermediate Six and has a classroom at Union High School.

“She really wanted to help them out,” said Lacy. “When she sent out her invitations for her birthday party, she asked people to make a monetary donation, and she was going to donate it to a family in need.”

The party was a success, and she raised over $400.00 from friends and family to give to Coradi.

“I was really surprised,” said Coradi after Nevaeh brought the gift to his home.  “It almost brought tears to my wife Nicole and me.  I know her mom and dad and played little league baseball with her dad (Dustin), so we’ve known each other for years.  I never expected that, and my wife and I were just taken back so much.”

Coradi was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last April and did six cycles of chemo called ABVD and was expecting to do some radiation treatment as a cleanup, but a relapse was spotted.

“I got a new tumor in the base of my neck. I went and got it biopsied, and it was Hodgin’s Lymphona again, and I had a relapse while we were still treating the original tumor.  Now, I’m going a different type of chemo where I have to go into the hospital every 21 days and am getting ready to get a stem cell bone marrow transplant at UPMC Shadyside.“

Surgery is expected in late March or early April.

While Coradi has insurance through his wife who teaches at Rimersburg Elementary, insurance doesn’t cover everything.

“There’s so much the insurance doesn’t cover.  It hasn’t been bad, but there’s a lot that the insurance doesn’t cover, plus once I do this transplant, I’m going to have to be off work for the last two months of the school year.  There are traveling expenses back and forth to Shadyside twice a week on average.”

In addition to Nevaeh, community support has helped ease the monetary demands and Coradi plans to pay it forward.

“’Hope for Your Future’ gave us a nice donation, friends of mine put together a golf outing and a fundraiser pig raffle last summer, and just everyday people have been so generous sending us cards, gas cards, restaurant cards, and cash and things like that.  Any help is appreciated, and we have plans to pay it forward, especially things like she did for us, and I know other people going through cancer, and we try to help them out as much as we can.“

Nevaeh’s six-year old brother, Titan, now has a good role model, and her mother has said the response to her daughter’s gift has been overwhelming.

“She’s had a lot of compliments, and everyone in the community thinks she did an amazing thing,” said Lacy.  “I asked her if there was any part of her that wishes she would have just asked for gifts? She said, ‘Absolutely not.  I’m so proud of what I done, and I hope he’s able to beat his cancer.’ It’s pretty impressive for someone that’s 10 to put aside herself to do something like this.”

With the help and support of his family, friends, and a little girl named Nevaeh – Heaven spelled backwards, Bill Corardi is looking forward to his future.

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