“A Definition to what Community is about” – Fish Fry Benefit for Fiorelli and Jilg Families

“A Definition to what Community is about” – Fish Fry Benefit for Fiorelli and Jilg Families
A packed house at the One Box Convention Center in Broken Bow during the Fish Fry Benefit for Jilg and Fiorelli families

BROKEN BOW—Christine and Jeremy Fiorelli have been “blown away by the amount of support” received from the local community. Their son Frederick, who just celebrated his third birthday–complete with new toys and chocolate cake—was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer during Christmas break.

The family said Frederick had not been feeling well and after an emergency room visit, it was determined there was a mass near his stomach. The mass was soon determined to be neuroblastoma, a cancer affecting the nervous system. This type of cancer most often affects infants and young children according to the American Cancer Society.

Despite the intense treatment schedule so far and that is also yet to come, Frederick’s parents say his curiosity and joyful personality will help the entire family battle this disease.

“Thank you for praying for me,” Frederick said.

Frederick has undergone three rounds of chemotherapy and will soon return to Omaha for another round. The next 15 months includes chemo, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy.

When speaking with KCNI/KBBN after Friday’s Fish Fry Benefit and Auction, the Fiorellis emphasized the amazing power of prayer and the love that has been shown to them on this journey. Through tears, the couple thanked everyone for the overwhelming turnout during the event held at the One Box Convention Center in Broken Bow.

“Thank you so much everybody for all of the prayers and all of the incredible support this community has given to us and beyond. We have just been in complete awe how awesome all of you are, even those of you who don’t even know us. We’ve just been blown away and we thank you so so much for your support during this,” Christine Fiorelli said.

The Fish Fry and Auction was made possible thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Knights of Columbus, North Park Elementary staff, Becton Dickinson, the Lions Club, Catholic Daughters, Nebraska State Bank, Bruning State Bank, Runza, and countless volunteers.

Knights of Columbus fried nearly 400 pounds of fish on Friday evening

Knights of Columbus representatives estimated that 1,200 people were served during the fish fry supper. John Smith and Jeff Wardyn said the event proved to be “tremendously successful” in terms of the turnout and financial support for both the Fiorelli and Jilg families.

“I’ve seen the community many times come out support people in situations similar to ours and I’ve always been on that side and it’s quite overwhelming and very nice to see from this side when we need help. Thank you ever so much for your prayers and everything everyone has done for us. It’s amazing, the support of the community,” Jeremy Fiorelli said.

Also on Friday evening, the Lions Club donated to both families and there was also a donation made by Concrete Cares.

“Thanks to everyone that came out and supported us, I know there were a lot of people that couldn’t make it and wanted to, we sure appreciate their thoughts and prayers,” Jeremy said.

Christine added, “Our hearts are bursting with love for all that’s been shown to us. We thank you for letting God use you as His instruments to love on us through this, you are His hands.”

“Thank you!” Frederick also added.

KCNI/KBBN has reached out to the Jilg family for an update, but has not heard back at this time.

Michael Jilg and son Ben receive check from the Lions Club for daughter Alle who is battling severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
Jeremy and Christine Fiorelli receive check from North Park Principal Kim Jonas on behalf of Concrete Cares
Families embrace one another as each endures countless hospital visits and treatments for their children