‘Buzz Cuts for Collin’ to help Mount Olive boy’s cancer battle

By PHIL GARBER Managing Editor, Mount Olive Chronicle

MOUNT OLIVE TWP. – Saturday, March 26, will be the day to get “Buzz Cuts for Collin.”

The event will be a fundraiser from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Hello Gorgeous salon at 36 Main St., Netcong, to help the Mount Olive family of Collin Berg, 14, who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Donations to the benefit are $10.

The youth was admitted to Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center on Monday for his latest round of chemotherapy, according to the boy’s mother, Theresa.

“He’s had unexpected complications but the cancer is in remission,” Mrs. Berg said. “He has his good days like today when he is really happy. At times he’s not feeling great but for the most part he’s trying to be positive.”

The boy is a seventh grader at the Mount Olive Middle School but has been homeschooled during his illness. He also takes classes remotely by using one of the school district’s five VGo robots. Berg operates the VGo through his laptop to virtually attend class via Wi-Fi. He can look around, maneuver throughout the classroom, and use the camera to zoom into the SmartBoard.

Longtime Haircutter

Mrs. Berg said Pam Aaronson, the owner of “Hello Gorgeous,” has been cutting the boy’s hair since he was a toddler. She suggested the benefit to help defray the family medical bills.

The boy began to suffer severe leg pain and went to Morristown Medical Center on Oct. 7. He was diagnosed with ALL and spent 10 days in the hospital before returning home.

It’s only the latest in a series of serious conditions for Collin. He suffered a stroke while in utero and his prognosis at birth was poor as he had hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy. But after eight weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Morristown Medical Center he went home and has since overcome developmental delays.

The boy didn’t walk until he was 2 and a half but as a sign of his progress, last summer, Collin placed second at the U.S. Adaptive Rock Climbing Competition. At five-feet-three and 95 pounds, Collin is a devote Yankee fan. He has weakness in his right hand but he practices karate, plays baseball as he catches and throws with his left hand and plays the French horn, a left handed instrument.

Mrs. Berg and her husband, Brian, were raised in Roxbury. They moved to Budd Lake in 2002. They also have a daughter, Marina, 17; and a son, Logan, 8.