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Ripon steps up to join Mason Ferrulli in his fight against cancer
mason waterford
Phil Waterford with Mason Ferrulli.

Mason Ferrulli has a lot of people pulling for him.

More than 300 people turned out last Friday for the Prayer for Mason event in the parking lot of Ripon Fit Nutrition and Sheboba’s on North Wilma Ave. in Ripon. The 13-year-old is battling cancer.

Others stepped up and organized a fund raiser called Fish Melones for Mason.  David Coy hosted the event that was put together by Matt Frazier along with Jason Buffalow, Nick Smith, and others.  They raised over $61,000 in one day.  In addition, a GoFundMe has been set up that is nearing $40,000. The goal is to raise $100,000 to go directly to the family to offset the medical expenses that come with Mason’s treatment.

Mason underwent surgery early Tuesday morning as doctors removed several tumors from his back.  They were unable to completely remove some of the strands of cancer which is concerning.  

“We are encouraging Mason and the family to keep the faith,” noted Phil Waterford who helped raise the prayer event for Mason. “Doctors are going to do their part and we need to allow the creator of the universe to intervene to restore Mason’s good health.”  

Waterford arrived about 23 minutes behind schedule in a Rolls Royce SUV carrying precious cargo which included Mason and his parents.   Waterford was visibly shaken as he exited the vehicle and described the huge sacrifice Mason made to attend the gathering.


When Waterford arrived at Mason’s home at 4:45, Mason’s dad was distraught and said that Mason was not going to be able to attend the prayer service.  Upon hearing this, Waterford went inside to talk with Mason.

“When I got there he was curled up in the fetal position.  He was crying and moaning due to the incredible pain he was in,” Waterford explained.  “Mason saw the Henna tattoos that I had freshly inked on my arms and it really captured his attention because one of those tattoos was of him.  I explained to Mason that these Henna tattoos were temporary just as the excruciating pain he was enduring and this, too, shall pass.”

“Mason asked me,’How long do think we will have to be there?’  When he said that, I knew his energy was already changing and when we arrived at the event, it was priceless for me to see him go from pain and moaning to ear to ear smiling and joy from the energy of the people that showed up for him.”


About the speakers at the event were Pastor Mike Dillman,  Pastor Sam Crivello who baptized Mason about a year ago, and Shelly Vieira.

Waterford’s son, Amare, and daughter, Deziray, presented Mason with a brand new electric mountain bike that starts with its own key.  

 “When we left, Mason’s energy was completely different,” Waterford said. “When we arrived back at his home, we were getting ready to carry him in the house but he actually walked inside on his own. . . . It was truly incredible to see the strength and resolve Mason received from this prayer event.”