Special gesture for Staten Island soldier's family - New York News

Special gesture for Staten Island soldier's family

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If you ever wonder why bad things happen to good people and then how those same people stay so positive in the face of adversity,

Look no further than the Akbars of Staten Island.

The Akbars are just grateful for all the support. It was a long year. Husband and doting dad, Rasheed, a U.S. Army reservist, was deployed to Kuwait leaving mom Kristina in charge of the family.

In December, 4-year-old-daughter Jaiyana would not stop complaining about a tummy ache. That's when things went from difficult to nearly impossible for any set of parents.

"My heart stopped, jumped out of my throat and did a couple of laps around the hospital, then hit the floor," said mom Kristina Akbar when doctors told her the diagnosis: Wilms' tumor, a form of pediatric kidney cancer.

Rasheed was allowed to come home for just three weeks for the surgery to remove Jaiyana's kidney and her first round of chemotherapy. Then it was back overseas for dad.

An unlikely group of students from Staten Island Monsignor Farrell High School heard Rasheed was back for good and decided to surprise the Akbars with an all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World, along with some cash, for some much needed R-and-R.

Senior Sean Egan said he loves helping heroes and he knows a thing or two about them. His father died on 9/11.

Great things are now happening to these good people. As of July, doctors declared Jaiyana cancer-free.

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