NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - A family that lost their daughter to a rare form of pediatric brain cancer has made it their mission to help other families create lasting memories with their children.
On Friday, that's exactly what they did for one Northeast Philadelphia family, holding a super hero pajama party for 3-year-old Anthony Fisher and more than a dozen of his friends.
Anthony has Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, known as DIPG. It's a rare and inoperable form of pediatric brain cancer. His mother, Kelsey, says the celebration is a blessing.
"It's amazing. I mean, you kind of realize when you go through something like this that other people have gone through things to come out on the other side and make a difference," she said.
The husband and wife behind Anthony's party lost their own daughter, Moriah, to the same cancer.
"She was born a perfectly healthy kid. She was developing perfectly fine," said Sharday and Mario Richardson.
Then they noticed a problem with the way their daughter was walking. In 2011, a doctor diagnosed the then 2-year-old girl with DIPG.
"They gave her nine months to live. She passed away three years later, two weeks before her 5th birthday," said Sharday.
Before Moriah passed, they were able to throw her a party to celebrate her life.
"After her 30 radiation treatments, we threw her a big celebration and from that just to be able to see the look on a child's face when they're experiencing family and loved ones. Memories are what lives on," said Mario.
In 2018, the Richardsons started a foundation called "Forever Moriah" to support other families with terminally ill children.
"I can relate to the mom. I've been in her shoes," said Sharday. "We made a vow that once Moriah passed away we were going to keep her name alive."
Sharday and Mario, who now have two young children, have also written a children's book for siblings of terminally ill kids.
The Virginia couple is currently taking its foundation on the road, helping families across the country.
Those interested in helping children like Moriah and Anthony can visit the sites listed below: