Happy to be home: Young girl returns home to a warm welcome after beating cancer

July 21, 2019 05:31 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A homecoming fit for a queen. A little girl from Spencerport once diagnosed with brain cancer, is now back home after spending months at a St. Jude's Children's Hospital nearly a thousand miles away.

Saturday night her friends and family surprised Jazel Antinetto at the Rochester airport.


The cheers began as soon as the crowd caught a glimpse of her, and they only got louder as Jazel walked down the stairs and got closer. 

Then the hugs and tears took over.

The stairs were probably the shortest part of the journey for the 10-year-old. Last fall her family received the devastating news that she had a malignant brain tumor. A six-hour surgery got most of it, but she needed chemotherapy and radiation to get the remainder.

In November 2018 she was accepted at St. Jude's and began treatment the next month.  She came home for a short visit.

But Saturday was homecoming day.

"We conquered it. We came home cancer-free," her mother, Mykel Antinetto, told the crowd that gathered to greet her and Jazel. 

That was the best reason to celebrate. The community's love and support was the second best reason.

"I'm not surprised each and everyone has kept in touch and followed her," said Antinetto. "Through this whole journey and I'm not surprised that every one of them is here. They have helped us and we couldn't have done it without them."

Jazel's cousin Noah, also 10, couldn't stop hugging "Jazzy," as she's affectionately known. He had waited to give her this message.

"I love you and you're the best cousin in the world."

Jazzy's fourth-grade teacher was also in the crowd along with her classmates.

"Jazel's an amazing strong little girl," said her teacher Scott Schwind. "She's probably all of 60 pounds but there's a lot of fight in her."

Her dad, Frank Antinetto, was back home in Rochester and anxiously waited like everyone else.

"Right now I'm just overjoyed man. I'm real anxious to have her home, I'm just overjoyed," said Frank. "The amount of support, this is family, friends, school teacher. It's great."


Lynette Adams

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