9-year-old Atlantic County boy rings the bell with the Phillies to celebrate last cancer treatment
HAMMONTON, N.J. - A young Phillies fan is giving new meaning to the phrase Ring the Bell, as he marks the end of his years-long battle with cancer. 9-year-old Frankie Lasasso, of Hammonton, rang the bell at Wednesday night’s Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park, celebrating his last chemo treatment for leukemia on a night he won’t forget.
"You’re so excited for him and the emotion of it all," dad Frank Lasasso said. "I don’t know if it’s really hit, yet."
176 family and friends wore special t-shirts that read "Frankie says ring the bell" and packed the stands for his big day.
"His friends were out of their minds. They were so thrilled to celebrate with him. When we were down on the third baseline, you could hear them all the way down on the right field line, how loud they were, yelling and screaming," Lasasso explained.
Frankie is on the shy side, but his smile says it all. His mom, Tiffany, felt the emotion of his battle against cancer finally coming to an end.
"You see him finally done with the hardest thing he’ll, hopefully, have to do in his life, just being a kid, but also getting that opportunity to do all those fun things yesterday," Tiffany Lasasso said.
Frankie was diagnosed in December of 2020, with 856 days of chemotherapy, IV, oral, injectable. That’s two years, four months and five days. Never complaining and continuing to play the sport he loves.
"He hit a triple, his first at bat right after having chemo. An hour before. So, it was overwhelming seeing that," Tiffany stated.
The Phils definitely hit it out of the park for the brave boy and he loved every minute of it.
"I didn’t know I was gonna meet a bunch of players," Frankie said. "I had a catch with Devin Smeltzer, on the Marlins and I got a glove from Jose Alvarado.
Frankie’s family has been in contact with Smeltzer since Frankie was first diagnosed, because the Voorhees native also had cancer at 9-years-old.
"They have that bond of having childhood cancer. They’re both left-handed pitchers," Frank commented. "I think that’s the most special part for Frankie."
Frankie added, "It was cool."
Frankie is happy to be done with the doctors and the meds and be able to throw the baseball around in his front yard with his little brother, Gino.