Stroudsburg, Monroe County - Joey, "The King," Fantozzi had a top hat and cane all shined up so he could stand by his dad Saturday. The six year old was supposed to be Best Man in his father's wedding.
But now the wedding is postponed, so his family can focus on the boy's fight with Leukemia.
Joey was diagnosed last weekend. Despite the shocking news, he kept a smile on his face. Family friends say the little boy has a great attitude because his parents raised him well. A growing following on his Facebook support page is also helping keep up his spirits.
Joey is a first-grader from Stroudsburg. Mandy Henwood is his future Step Mother. She spoke to Eyewitness News in Stroudsburg while Joey's Mom and Dad stayed by his side in the hospital. Henwood said, "His Dad and him have a phenomenal bond and his dad calls him "The King" because he is this extra special kid."
"The King" isn't your ordinary six year old. He volunteers as a buddy for the Special Olympics. And before he knew he had cancer, he asked his parents if he could shave his head to support a cancer charity. Henwood smiled, "If you meet him you are like, "This is one special kid.'"
She added Joey is fighting his illness bravely. She said, "He has a sword that he's been swinging around in his bed, like he's 'bring it on leukemia.'"
Joey keeps the hospital staff laughing. Henwood explained why so many people call him "awesome." She said, "What happened was the nurse came in and said, 'Hi I'm so and so.' 'I'm awesome,' is what he said." She laughed, "Like he didn't say I'm Joey or "The King". He just said I'm awesome."
Joey likes everyone to feel awesome. His family asked friends to post photos on Facebook holding signs that say things like, "I'm awesome," "You're Awesome," or "I'm awesome and so are you." They said they have received an overwhelming response. And to all those people who have posted photos Joey said, "I love you."
Joey's cancer has a very successful cure rate but he will require about three years of treatment. His family is sure he will get healthy and keep that smile. Henwood noted, "The way children handle things is probably something we should learn from."
A charity that supports children with cancer is helping Joey. It's called Lizzie's Circle. It's a Monoroe County based non-profit named in honor of a teen that died of cancer. The organization collects money for families with kids fighting the disease. It also has a large circle of volunteers who help families try to maintain a sense of normalcy.
Lizzie's Circle President Christine Harvell said, "There may be a lot of other things that are not money related that they might need that we're gonna try and help them get."
For more information on Lizzie's Circle or helping Joey through that charity visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lizzies-Circle/
To post a photo or support message for Joey on his family page visit www.facebook.com/supporttheking