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We count on our
mothers to make
everything better
to comfort us when
we're hurt, to figure
out what's wrong,
to take away all the
aches and pains.
Mothers develop
the skills to help
us overcome any
problems. They
teach us how to `turn lemons into lemonade',
turning adversity into triumph.
Two local moms who have faced their own most
traumatic losses have turned their experience into
an opportunity to help others. Both lost a child
perhaps the worst tragedy a mother can endure and
both have created non-profit foundations to make
sure that other mothers, faced with similar
tragedies, have help and support.
Nikki Spagna's son Dominic Osorio was diagnosed
with low grade Glioma, an aggressive brain cancer,
shortly after his fifth birthday. He endured surgery,
chemotherapy, a second surgery and extensive
radiation all with a smile and a determination
to Believe in a positive outcome. His grandmother
had given him the nickname "The Dominator"
and a friend created a comic book starring a super
hero character named The Dominator, who defeats
evil forces by thinking positive.
Dominic's enthusiasm and courage, and his ability
to think positive, were an inspiration to his doctors,
nurses, family and friends. According to his mother,
"Dominic didn't just like things he `loved
them'; things weren't just great they were `the
greatest' . . . He did not once complain or ask
`why me?' . . . When asked
how he was doing, he'd give his signature thumbs
up and a big smile."
Upbeat and determined, "The Dominator" earned
his angel wings in November, 2009. In his memory,
D.O. Believe Foundation was established,
dedicated to raising awareness and research funds
for pediatric cancer, to support families of children
fighting cancer, and to spread Dominic's message
that anyone can be a superhero. The motto of the
Foundation is "Together we can put an end to children's
cancer. All we have to do is believe."
Nikki's passion is as inspiring as her son's strength
of belief. She cites statistics: "Cancer is the #1
disease killer of children in America, responsible
for more deaths for ages 1-19 than asthma,
diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS combined . . .
and yet pediatric cancer research is shamefully
under funded . . . for every $1 for breast cancer
research, only 30 cents is spent on childhood
cancer . . . approximately 46 US Children are
diagnosed with cancer every day, 9 of those
having brain cancer . . . 1 out of every 5 children
diagnosed with cancer dies . . . and yet pediatric
cancer research is consistently under funded."
Along with contributing to raising money for
pediatric cancer research, and helping increase
awareness of the need for further funding,
D.O. Believe Foundation is dedicated to
providing funds directly to families of children
being treated, to help with parking fees, meals
and entertainment. Perhaps most important is
Foundation's mission to continue to spread
The Dominator's message of positivity and hope.
Follow the
Foundation on Facebook at The
Dominator. To purchase the comic book go to
Two losses, two tragedies, two positive Foundations moving forward
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