Gino Altieri fought his final cancer battle at 2 p.m. Sunday. He was 10.
“Jedi Gino,” as he preferred to be called, was the son of Gina and Dominic Altieri and brother of 4-year-old Adelina of Stow. He was diagnosed in 2011 with Stage IV alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that mainly occurs in the muscles of the trunk, arms and legs.
Sharon Deitrick passed along news of his death. Her sister Susan Deitrick is a counselor at Lakeview Intermediate School, where Jedi Gino was in the fifth grade, and was close to the family.
“The family waited until Susan arrived to pray with them and encourage them before Redmon Funeral Home carried his little body away,” Sharon Dietrick wrote.
“There was a smile on his face and his death was peaceful. As one of the nuns stated earlier, ‘God must have wanted him in Heaven.’ ”
Earlier in the year, the little boy with such an indomitable spirit suffered a terrible seizure, indicating the cancer had returned. Brain surgery followed. “He is now back in Jedi persona, aiming his sword at chemo and radiation, right at the heart of that enemy,” Susan wrote back then.
“This is a kid who loves Star Wars, soccer and coming to school every day — which he no longer always gets to do. He learned from his Nonna that there is nothing more important than family. He reported this to his fifth-grade class with Fay Dean and Colleen Mahoney with such seriousness and awe, it made all the kids stop and listen. The adults too!”
Several fundraisers, in and outside of school, were organized to help his family with medical expenses.
Gino’s aunt Andrea Natyshok added this beautiful visual of his departure:
“At 2 p.m. today Gino finally defeated [General] Grievous [the antagonist in Star Wars] once and for all. This afternoon, surrounded by family, Gino shed his earthly body and is free from cancer and all pain.
“He is dancing in Heaven with Jesus, celebrating his new role as our guardian angel!”
Calling hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 340 N. Main St., Hudson, where there will be a funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Redmon Funeral Home in Stow is handling the arrangements.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org