Leukemia patient Marc Amoroso, of North Beach in Calvert County, is recovering from a bone marrow transplant last week at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
"He has a real positive attitude," said his mother, Joyce Amoroso.
Doctors at Children's Hospital in the District decided Marc needed a transplant to survive when his one-year remission from leukemia ended in December. He was found to have the disease in 1983.
Doctors will not know whether Marc's body has accepted the new marrow for at least two weeks. The operation took place last Friday.
Marc will stay in an isolated, sterile room for two months while his immune system recovers from nine days of intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments that preceded the transplant.
Visitors don surgical gowns before entering Marc's room, and food, toys and cards have to be sterilized before he can touch them.
Nurses on the ward made special provisions for today, Marc's 10th birthday, helping his mother sterilize balloons and decorations and preparing a bacteria-free cake.
This winter, Calvert County residents raised more than $50,000 on Marc's behalf through benefits, candy sales and raffles.
The fund will pay medical expenses not covered by Marc's insurance, Joyce Amoroso said, but it cannot help defray her living expenses at the Sloane Kettering Ronald McDonald house.
"I'm not sure how we'll manage," she said.