At left, brain cancer patient Nico Castro as Batman. At right, Nico from about a month before he was diagnosed. Nico’s mother said he likes wearing Halloween masks because they make him look like a regular kid since the chemo and radiation have left him without hair. (Courtesy Marlene Castro)

Six-year-old with brain cancer starts Halloween costume drive for sick children

At his costume drive last Thursday for children who have to spend Halloween in the hospital, Nico Castro – a 6-year-old who’s battling brain cancer – ran around as a “Star Wars” Stormtrooper.

“Which one’s the sick child?” a donator asked his mom Marlene Castro, she recounted to “You can’t see he has no hair with the helmet,” said Castro. “He’s running around. It’s nice to keep things normal as possible for him. We’re limited.”

Nico was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, which is cancer of the cerebellum (that’s Latin for the “little brain,” which is important for balance and movement), last November and has spent holidays in the hospital near his home in San Bruno, California. He kept asking whether he’d be able to celebrate Halloween, his favorite holiday, and when his treatment schedule cleared for Oct. 31, he was ecstatic at first – and then he quickly grew concerned about children too sick to leave the hospital for the costume-and-candy filled day.

“Halloween’s my favorite,” Nico told “I don’t want them to miss out on the candy.”

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