Super Bowl

Super Bowl Watch Party Planned for Young Eagles Fan Set to Undergo Surgery in Boston

Geno LaMonaca, a high school freshman, will undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor Monday at Boston Children's Hospital; a day earlier, fellow fans will cheer on the Philadelphia Eagles during a watch party at the Boston Marriott in Peabody

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When it comes to NFL allegiance, most New Englanders obviously cheer on the Patriots, but there is a contingent of Philadelphia Eagles fans. Some of them are coming to the aid of a family that is dealing with a challenge bigger than any NFL game.

Geno LaMonaca is a regular high school freshman.

"I like to play baseball, football. And some of my hobbies, going outside and helping others in the community, usually," he said.

The Pennsylvania boy is in the middle of a big week: His Philadelphia Eagles fan are one win away from holding the Lombardi Trophy.

"I'm really excited to watch, since in 2018, I watched that with my dad, and that was just probably one of the core memories in my childhood," LaMonaca said.

This year, though, the Super Bowl is more of a distraction. On Monday, the day after the big game, LaMonaca will undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor at Boston Children's Hospital.

"I'm actually like, I'm really nervous," he said. "I'm scared. But the cards that I've received is just crazy. I mean, the support that I've gotten so far, it's just so heartwarming, and I couldn't ask for anything more."

Some of that support is coming from Peabody Police Sgt. Jim Harkins, a fellow longtime Eagles fan in Massachusetts.

"I just like to watch good football, and I love the Eagles," Harkins said.

He was one of many people who saw an online request from LaMonaca's mom on the Philadelphia Eagles Fans of Boston Facebook page for a place to watch the game.

"She really just wanted to give him the opportunity to watch the game with some Eagles fans and to have a good time the night before his surgery," Harkins said.

So Harkins decided to coordinate a watch party at the Boston Marriot in Peabody.

"You can get that phone call tomorrow from a doctor, and it devastates you and changes your whole life forever," he said. "So if I can do something to help a family go and do that, I absolutely would."

The family is looking forward to this interruption after a year of challenging doctor visits.

"Whether it's the four of us, whether, you know, there's another couple of dozen Bostonian Eagles fans with us, whatever, or if they're Chiefs fans, doesn't matter," said Geno's father, Tony LaMonaca.

"I feel like the surgery, like, I feel like I won't even like think about it during the game," said Geno LaMonaca. "I'm going to be so invested in the game that I'm just not even going to worry about it. So that's why I'm really, really looking forward to the game, and I'm just I'm really grateful that the Eagles made it this year."

LaMonaca is doing his own part to give back, raising money for St. Jude's to support other families who are in similar situations.

Geno's Super Bowl party starts at 5 p.m. Sunday at the hotel's bar area, open to fans of all teams.

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