Last Tuesday morning, despite the rain and the cold, over 200 students, faculty, parents and friends from East Boston Central Catholic School (EBCCS) participated in a fundraising walk for one of their own students, Cristopher Chavarria.
Cristopher, a first-grade student at EBCCS was diagnosed with Leukemia back in June and while his doctors are optimistic that he will recover he will be faced with three years of treatments.
“Right now, Cristopher is strong and able to attend school, but the school does not know for how long,” said EBCCS Principal Robert Casaletto. “As a school community we wanted to do something for Cristopher and his family.”
So students, faculty and parents decided to walk over five miles from EBCCS on London Street to Cristopher’s house in Revere.
“At first that seemed like a nice idea, but not really something that the school could pull off without help,” said Casaletto.
Casaletto and the school reached out to Community Officers Derek Russo and Gary Marino, who immediately jumped on board and brought the idea to District A-7 Captain Kelly McCormick.
“Captain McCormick garnered support from the MBTA, State Police, Revere Police, MDC, Massport, EMS, and a large number of Boston Police officers on bikes and in vehicles,” said Casaletto. “He also took the time to walk the entire way with the school.”
Following the walk to the Chavarria house, Captain McCormick provided a police escort with lights and sirens back to school for Cristopher and his family who were all greeted by Cristopher’s first-grade class.
“The walk happened on Tuesday, Oct. 2, which is also the Feast of the Guardians Angels,” explained Casaletto. The walk was dubbed the “Cristopher’s Angels” walk. “I really believe the EBCCS families, along with support from the Boston Police Department, were truly Guardians Angels to Cristopher last week. Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation I have for the love and support the officers provided to East Boston Central Catholic School in support of our Cristopher’s Angels walk.”
In a statement the Boston Police said every now and again, the men and women of the Boston Police Department are asked to participate in a truly special, humbling and heartfelt event that allows them to be a part of something bigger than themselves while connecting with and caring for a community member most assuredly in need of some support, comfort and encouragement. “For Captain Kelley McCormick and the officers assigned to District A-7 in East Boston, the opportunity to make a difference came on Oct. 2, 2018, when the faculty and staff at East Boston Central Catholic approached the good Captain and his officers to ask and inquire if they’d be willing to provide a police escort to one of their students, a little boy battling leukemia,” said BPD in the statement. “The men and women of the BPD were more than happy to oblige a request that left a first-grader feeling like a million bucks and our officers even richer. And, to this young boy and his family, the men and women of the BPD would like them to know, we’re always here to lend a helping hand or ride to school.”
If you would like to support Cristopher in his battle with Leukemia, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/team-cristopher.