STATEN ISLAND, New York — A young boy with a rare, inoperable tumor is enlisting the help of the internet to help find his dog that went missing several days before he went into his 20th surgery.
Roman Ducalo, five, was born with mesenchymal hamartoma of the chest wall, a condition that has resulted in an inoperable tumors on his cervical spine.
“They run havoc on the system and in really bad places,” his mother, Lauren Ducalo, told NBC New York.
Over the past year, Roman found solace in his dog, Charlie. Charlie has helped Roman do things he has never been able to do before.
“My mother had gotten this dog and it was an initial bond between the dog and my son,” Ducalo told ABC News. “[Roman] would cry when he’d have to go to therapy, but you put him in the room with the dog, and he’s rolling around the floor. My son didn’t walk until he was 2. It has been a therapy for him. It was Roman being a boy.”
Unfortunately, Charlie went missing a few days before Roman’s most recent surgery. The family is unsure if Charlie escaped or was taken.
Roman has been asking for Charlie since he disappeared and took to the internet to ask for help.
“He prays daily for Charlie to come back,” Ducalo told ABC News. “He doesn’t understand that there’s a big chance that the dog isn’t coming back…after this weekend if we don’t find him, we’ll have to tell him something.”
The family is offering a $1,000 reward for Charlie’s return.
“I love him a lot. I hope he doesn’t get stuck in the woods,” Roman told NBC New York.
Ducalo added, “We just want the dog back to make a family complete again.”
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