“We can’t fight what we don’t know,” David said. “We now know what drugs to target it with.”
According to David, Zachary has made progress. His motor skills are slowly coming back, and in early September there was significant evidence of necrosis, and no sign of growth, in the tumor. “He’s determined to get better,” David said of his son. “He’s not letting it affect his life.”
David added that he and Deena are more confident now because they are more informed and have a good medical team. Also, Zachary has handled the treatment “like a champ,” his father said.
“He doesn’t consider himself having cancer,” David said. “He considers himself a boy who’s got an illness, and he knows that his family, friends and doctors are there to do everything in their power to hopefully find a cure.”
Zachary returned to school a few days after his biopsy in early September. The Bernsteins said that the entire Lynbrook school community has been very supportive, including teachers and administrators from South Middle and Waverly Park Elementary School, where Zachary graduated last year.
Friends of Zachary Fund
About two weeks after his son’s diagnosis, David launched the Friends of Zachary Fund, which has raised money to help offset Zachary’s medical expenses. In addition to the outpouring of support from the local community, several professional sports franchises have reached out to Zachary, including the Yankees, the New York Cosmos and the Miami Heat.
In July, he attended a Yankees game and met manager Joe Girardi and legendary relief pitcher Mariano Rivera. Girardi invited Zachary onto the field and into the Yankees’ dugout and locker room, following a close win during which he fist-bumped all the players.