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Ridgefield Park-Hasbrouck Heights Daily Voice serves Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Ridgefield Park & Wood-Ridge

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Every Day 'Like Christmas' For Ailing Little Ferry Boy

Lil Ryu, who turned 5 on Wed., Dec. 28, opens new gifts every day.
Lil Ryu, who turned 5 on Wed., Dec. 28, opens new gifts every day. Photo Credit: Special To Daily Voice
Lil Ryu is battling metastatic
Lil Ryu is battling metastatic Photo Credit: Agatha Okumara

LITTLE FERRY, N.J. — Moms from across Bergen County have been giving a Little Ferry boy a reason to wake up in the morning.

Every day since Christmas, Lil Ryu — who is battling an aggressive form of cancer in a nearby hospital — opens another few gifts from the pile of about 120 donated to him this month.

A toy drive for Ryu was launched by Westwood's Annie Joachim after reading his story in Daily Voice.

"We can only bring so many gifts into the hospital because his room is so small," said Ryu's mom, Agatha Okumara.

So every day is like Christmas for him — he's loving it.

Lyndhurst mom Arlene Murray made a customized birthday cake for Ryu, who turned 5 on Wednesday. Murray, a Fair Lawn native, runs Polkadot Cupcake Shop out of Nutley.

Joachim also provided a home-cooked Christmas dinner for the Okumara Family, and rallied a South Hackensack Girl Scouts to wrap presents and sing to Ryu, which aired on the 11-o'clock news.

The youngster got a kick out of seeing himself on TV, his mom said.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Okumara, a Dumont native. "It's definitely restored  my faith in humanity."

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