Students raise money for brother of classmate fighting rare form of pediatric cancer

Dec 10 2021, 22:05 Updated 20 hours ago

By: News 12 Staff

Students from a local high school got together and helped raise money for a child battling cancer.

Izzy Qazi, 8, is battling a rare form of childhood cancer. The disease is known as stage 4 embryonic rhabdomyosarcoma.

Embryonic rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer of the soft tissues. Izzy was diagnosed in February. Health experts say there are only 300 cases of this cancer each year in the United States.

The boy is currently on a 54-week chemotherapy treatment plan and his family is feeling the financial strain. Enter the students of Von E. Mauger Middle School in Middlesex. Izzy’s 14-year-old brother, Frank Martielli, studies there.

“Frank came to our DoSomething meeting—the first meeting—and he said, ‘Can we do something for my brother?’” said DoSomething Club Coordinator Elizabeth Tamargo.

Through the club, the school’s students were able to raise more than $5,000 to help Izzy and his family cover some of the costs of his cancer treatments.

“I have six children at home, so it’s difficult. The beginning was very difficult,” says Izzy’s mother, Kimberlee Shamaa.

In addition to the money raised, the high school teachers donated Christmas gifts for Izzy and his five siblings.

“It made me feel good,” says Frank Martielli. “My brother deserves it for all the things he’s been through.”

Kimberlee Shamaa has also started a GoFundMe page to help with medical and travel expenses. It has raised about $6,000.

The family also says they want to pay attention to embryonic rhabdomyosarcoma.

Izzy will continue to fight. He has a scan day soon and at least one more surgery.

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