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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Haledon Community Rallies Around Toddler Battling Leukemia

Justin Cortaza
Justin Cortaza Photo Credit: Courtesy of Joanna Bosques

HALEDON, N.J. — A Haledon boy continues his recovery from leukemia with the help of his neighbors and the community.

Justin Cortaza, who will turn 4 on Valentine's Day, was diagnosed with leukemia in early January. His mother, Joanna Bosques, said he's responded well to treatment but still has a long road ahead.

"He's a fighter," Bosques told Daily Voice.

Justin remained in the hospital and still has around three years of treatments planned, his mother said. His room has been busy though.

His father Humberto's friends in the U.S. Army, and from a motorcycle club have been in to visit him during his stay.

Bosques also started a GoFundMe page to help pay for his treatment and education so he does not fall behind because of his illness. The GoFundMe raised more than $5,000 as of Thursday.

Jamie O'Donnell, a makeup producer, will also donate 80 percent of her sales commission to Justin through the end of January.

"It's beyond what we have expected," Bosques said.

The family lived in Haledon since 2003. Joanna Bosques works as a medical biller and Humberto in construction.

Justin also has a younger sister, Leila, who is around 18 months old.

Justin was always the spunky one, though.

"He was like non-stop going," his mother said. "When we noticed his attitude changing that's when we noticed something was wrong. He wasn't playing rough, he didn't want to do anymore playdates. His whole personality changed."

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