HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Laura and John Howard were shocked when their son, John Randall, was diagnosed with pediatric melanoma.
Melanoma is so rare among children, that at first he was misdiagnosed.
"It was very surreal because it was melanoma, he’d never had a sunburn, we always put on sunscreen," said Laura Howard. "His primary spot on his knee was nothing that looked like anything of concern."
Six months after the diagnosis, John Randall has undergone several surgeries and is only half way through a year of intensive treatments.
His family not only wants to see him heal, but wants researchers to learn more about pediatric melanoma, so no more cases go undiagnosed for so long.
Tortora's Italian Restaurant heard about John Randall and his family, and offered to host a benefit, where 100% of the proceeds would go toward pediatric melanoma research.
"With a good attitude and a great community that supports him and a purpose of raising money, and hopefully finding a cure, you can take your energy and put it toward something positive," said Laura.
With live music, and a special menu, the tables were packed with family, friends, and strangers who wanted to help the cause.
"It’s humbling actually, it’s amazing. You can’t imagine how blessed you can feel in this moment in time," said Laura. "When you’re struggling with something so hard and you’re overcome with thankfulness because we have such wonderful family and friends and community."