PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A little boy, who captured the heart of the entire city during his battle with a rare disease, has died.
Joey Fabus, a third grader from Bethel Park, put up a courageous, months-long fight against an inoperable brain tumor called DIPG with a smile on his face. He was an inspiration to all who met him.
“I’ve never seen a person with the strength that that little boy had. It has affected thousands of lives and made us all better,” said Lou Pietosi, a family friend.
Pietosi has organized fundraisers to help the Fabus family with their mounting medical bills. He says it’s been some of the most rewarding moments of his life.
“When he stepped out of the van and I shook his little hand and he looked at me, I have never been touched by a person like that,” Pietosi said.
Joey’s dream in life was to become of police officer.
Before he died, his dream came true when Bethel Park Police swore him in as an honorary officer last summer. Find out more about his special day at this link.
He’ll be buried in his uniform and police will be attending his funeral.
Even though he only lived for eight years, Joey leaves behind quite a legacy.
“When you think you’re having a bad day and you look at a little boy like that, and he bounces back and comes out of that hospital with a smile on his face, there’s not a lot for us to complain about in this world,” Pietosi said.
Joey’s final days were rough. He was swollen from his meds and treatments and he suffered. But little Joey put up a brave fight until the end.
A support group called “Little Joey’s Army” has held several fundraisers for him.
Joey passed away Wednesday evening.
His family is setting up a foundation to help find a cure for the childhood cancer.