School No. 8 Principal Michelle Rodriguez talking with the parents of Isabel Dominguez, a first-grader at the school who is battling leukemia. Several fundraisers have helped ease their financial burden. 

By Gary Miller

Linden is coming together to show love to a little girl and her family in their time of need.

A fundraising dinner was held Tuesday, May 1, at Amici’s Restaurant to help the family of School No. 8 first-grader Isabel Dominguez, who has been diagnosed with leukemia and has just recently started her treatments.

“The School 8 community has learned that sometimes, the smallest hands can carry the heaviest loads,” said School No. 8 Principal Michelle Rodriguez. “As soon as School 8 learned of Isabel’s diagnosis, we immediately began to think of the emotional and financial burden that can place on a family. The Dominguez family has been around School 8 for a long time and has formed lasting relationships with the community.”

The dinner raised $8,324, all of which goes to the family, said Ahmed Shehata, who helped organize the fundraiser.

In addition, plastic wristbands donated by A&B Promotions are being sold throughout the school district at $2 each. Anyone who wants a wristband, which reads “Together It Is Easier,” should contact their school social worker or email Rodriguez at mrodriguez@lindenps.org.

superintendent with girl's mother

Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi looking at photos of Isabel Dominguez as he talked with her mother, Diana Arrubla.

Between the dinner and the wristbands, donations are already close to $14,000, Shehata said.

“We are gathering as a community and a family to help one of our own,” he said. “When we heard Isabel was diagnosed with leukemia, we immediately felt obligated to do what we could to help her and her family through this difficult time. We cannot sit by knowing there is a problem in our town and do nothing.”

A car show being held at Aviation Plaza on June 9 will also raise funds to help Isabel’s family, asking for a donation of $20 per car. Call Mark Mannuzza at 908-494-7644 for more information.

Isabel’s mother, Diana Arrubla, spoke at the fundraising dinner about how grateful her family is to have so much support from the community.

“As a family, we feel blessed,” she said, with Isabel’s father, Rosalino Dominguez, by her side. “We are in pain, but at the same time, we feel the love. Love is healing, and we feel that this is healing her. I am so thankful for you. God bless you all.”