Surprise family with child that has brain tumor gets brand new backyard from neighbors
SURPRISE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - When his 6-year-old grandson, Colin Rasky, was diagnosed with a brain tumor last month, Mark Toppo had some advice for his daughter.
"It's almost like parenting, ya know? There's no manual to look at. And I just keep telling my daughter to choose your battle," said Toppo.
So naturally, things like yard work and special projects around the house fell to the wayside during their stay at the hospital. That's where their giving neighbors come in.
Knowing the family's passion for entertaining and grilling, they took action.
"For them, that's relaxing. So having t hem have this at home now and able to come here and to just barbecue with their family, their neighbors, it's amazing. So that's why we thought of it. We know when they came home, this would be special for them," said Davis Margau, a neighbor.
From 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., an estimated 40 people showed up to the Rasky's home, pitching in and building a custom barbecue and fire pit. In fact, at times the support was almost overwhelming.
"We had so many people show up, I've never had that many people show up to help with something. So that was the biggest struggle, to make sure everyone know what they were doing and everything laid out," said David Bell, the president of Avant-Edge Landscaping.
And for the first time during a quick break from the hospital, Colin's parents, Brett and Alicia, saw what their friends, family members and strangers have been up to.
Speechless and so grateful, imagining many more happy and healthy summers ahead.
"The neighbors can be neighbors, but when they can be friends and life-long friends it's a whole different story and that's what we lucked out with in moving here. And God put us here for a reason and here we are. We'll grow old together," said the Rasky's.
And even though there's no manual for navigating life's biggest curveballs, we can all take a page out of Colin's book.
"Colin sees nothing but the positive in things. He's a young boy, and we tend to dwell on negative things. We can all learn from that. He's doing very well, and he knows in his heart he's going to get a 100 percent better. And we have to be there for him to know that, too," said Toppo.