Neighbors rally to help 11 year-old beat leukemia

Pat Tarantino, Reporter Staff
Sep. 29, 2011

Less than a year ago, the biggest challenge facing 11-year-old Tim Burke was a good right-handed batter. But now the little leaguer’s family is calling on friends and neighbors to help their son win his months-long battle against leukemia.

Burke’s parents, Mary and Charlie — formerly of Dorchester— are organizing a baseball-themed fundraiser to help offset the costs of their son’s treatment at the IBEW/Local 103 Hall on Friday, Sept. 30 that will include a comedy show, ballpark food, raffles, and an auction.

Tim was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia in January of this year and while the painful, two-year-long treatment process has been a challenge for Tim and his family, Charlie Burke said he has been “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support for their son.

Tim is about a quarter of the way through his treatment, which requires weekly trips to the Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for chemotherapy.

Not satisfied with overcoming his own illness, Tim has tried his own hand at fundraising, and took in $2,000 over the Fourth of July Weekend to support the Jimmy Fund’s cancer research.

Tim’s father said his son took up the effort to help prevent other children from having to undergo the same procedures and, upon Tim’s recovery, could expand into a national day fundraising.

“You know, you take some things for granted before something like this happens,” Charlie said. “We’re very proud of our son, he has so much courage and he wants to turn around and help other kids going through this.”

To help support the Burkes, donations can be sent to The Tim Burke Leukemia Fund, P.O. Box 35124, Brighton, MA 02135. For tickets, call Donna Rans at 617-268-7717.