PITTSBURGH — Pittsburghers always come together when times are tough, especially in 2020.
We want to introduce you to a local nonprofit organization that’s raising money and spreading smiles one family at a time.
“It’s one step in trying to get back to where we were a couple years ago where we’re not thinking about medicine every night,” said Matt Caporali, Nora Caporali’s father.
In a year that was so difficult, the Caporalis said they have so many reasons to be thankful.
Even 4-year-old Nora couldn’t wait to share the wonderful news.
“Guess what!? Guess what!? This is my last chemo and last spinal tap,” Nora said.
Channel 11 first introduced you to Nora last year when she took center stage at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night.
In 2018, Nora was diagnosed with ALL, or acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
A year later, her treatment is almost finished.
“A bell ringing. A bell ringing on Jan. 14,” said Jenelle Caporali, Nora’s mother.
After Nora rings that bell at UPMC Children’s Hospital to mark the end of treatment, it’ll be time to celebrate in Disney fashion, courtesy of a group of Pittsburghers with big hearts.
Ian Coyle is the founder and president of the local nonprofit Semper Gratus, which means always grateful. His team organized this big surprise of an all-expense paid trip and a truck full of toys for Nora, her sister Addie, and mom and dad.
“We want to be able to give back to as many people as possible (and to) influence as many people as possible,” Coyle said.
Coyle’s mission started five years ago as a DJ.
“A buddy of mine joked, ‘Ya know, you’re eventually going to run out of friends’ weddings to DJ. What are you going to do next?’” he said.
Coyle started an organization that centers around his love of live events and raises money for causes all across Pittsburgh, including childhood cancer.
To date, they’ve raised $100,000.
“He’s the epitome of kindness,” Jenelle Caporali said. “And it’s not just with our family. He’s been doing this for several years now, and his organization just keeps growing.”
Coyle can’t wait for 2021 and hopefully the return of live events so their work can keep growing.
“I can’t wait. I can only hope that our impact is bigger, badder and better,” Coyle said.
As for Nora, 2021 is about health, happiness and, of course, Disney.
Nora said she’s most looking forward to meeting Mickey and Minnie.
If you’d like to learn more about how to help Coyle and his team, click here.
Cox Media Group