Knowing that 11-year-old Rocco Worley prefers spending his time at the skate park rather than inside a hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation went big and unveiled a private, backyard skate park for the boy who is is fighting a rare blood disorder.
Rocco, who lives in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, started experiencing migraine headaches, and neck and back pain in 2015. Finally in 2016, he was diagnosed with a rare tumor in his cerebellum, and following surgery to remove the mass in 2017, he started chemotherapy and steroid treatments for Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH). LCH is a disease in which the body produces too many immature Langerhans cells, leading to the formation of tumors.
Because LCH in the cerebellum is so rare, especially in children, doctors have had to utilize treatments typically reserved for people who have leukemia.
Due to the intensity of treatment, Rocco had not been to school since December of 2016. However, whenever he had the energy, he would make his way to the skate park or to the ocean for some surfing. And, when he couldn’t make it outside his hospital room, he would make fingerboards and skate around indoors.
Knowing how much Rocco enjoys extreme sports, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, along with more than 20 community donors and volunteers, constructed his very own backyard skate park. The big surprise was revealed in late January with more than 100 family and friends looking on.
Amazing Skatepark Reveal for Team Rocco! Happy I could be a part of it 🙏 @roccocarsonworley Julie Worley Scott Worley @wishsandiego @kyleberard @stantec Erickson-Hall #roccostrong pic.twitter.com/dZFuOaBjmP
— Kanten Russell (@KantenRussell) January 28, 2018
“I think it’s the best,” he told NBC San Diego. “Like it can’t get any better than this.”
At the time of this writing, Rocco shows no evidence of live disease in his body.
“That was the best Christmas gift that any parent could ever have,” his father, Scott Worley, said.
As for Rocco’s new skateboarding mecca, that comes in at a close second place.