Johnny was a typical 1st grader at Bradfield Elementary. He was inquisitive, cheerful, & thoughtful.. He loved to travel. He loved to cook. He loved the Yankees. But above all, he loved his family & his friends.
During the Fall of 2011 Johnny was ill for weeks with a persistent cough. The day before his 7th birthday he was admitted to Dallas Children’s ER. A mass was discovered encasing his little heart. Diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer, called pericardial synovial sarcoma, Johnny & his family’s lives would be forever changed. His parents, Stinelli & Tim, made the decision to seek treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. Their own research lead them to ASCF. A member of the foundation met the family the night Johnny was airlifted from Dallas to Houston. ASCF arranged for the family to stay in a furnished apartment close to the hospital. Johnny spent the next year & a half in Houston undergoing intensive cancer treatment.
Throughout their 500 day battle with sarcoma, Johnny’s story reached tens of thousands of people. The incredible journey of “the little boy with a big heart” helped to raise sarcoma awareness as well as more than $30,000 to advance ASCF’s mission. Sadly, Johnny lost his battle to sarcoma on February 25, 2013. His family remains committed to ensuring that Johnny’s legacy continues through the Johnny O’Leary Memorial Fund. Future proceeds from the fund will be used to provide housing for other families affected by cancer seeking treatment in Houston.