Church community raises money for toddler with leukemia

Church community raises money for toddler with leukemia

reporter photo

Members of the New Life Church in Wallingford have rallied to help one of their own.

Two-year-old Namaan Johnson was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018, and when New Life parishoner Gina Queiroga saw the toddler in church with a feeding tube, she was compelled to learn more about him.

“I was told about how he had leukemia, and my heart just broke, being a mom,” Queiroga said. “So we talked about possibly doing something for (the family) for the holidays to try to raise money for them.” 

Queiroga, whose parents owns Bagelicious in North Haven, decided that the eatery would serve as a perfect venue for a fundraiser. 

“We figured photos with Santa would be perfect,” Queiroga said. “So what better way than to meet Santa while supporting a good cause?” 

The event will be held Saturday, Dec. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bagelicious. Presale admission is $15. At the door, the price will be $20. The fundraiser also will include a bake sale and raffle.

Nicole Johnson, Namaan’s mother, said her family has attended New Life Church for “the past eight or nine years.” The mother of two said that learning church members were rallying to help her family was “humbling.”

“We feel like people have done so much for us, just emotionally and helping out with finances,” Johnson said. “We’re just really excited and happy and grateful.” 

Johnson revealed that Namaan almost had been lost after his liver nearly shut down during chemotherapy. But the doctors at Yale were able to save him.

“All things considered, he’s beating the odds,” Johnson said. “The way he’s behaving and how all his counts have been looking … he really is doing a lot better than they’ve expected.”

Namaan’s treatments are expected to continue through November of 2021. 

To find out more about Naaman’s journey, visit the family’s website
Twitter: @everett_bishop