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18-year-old Cancer Survivor Describes the Impact and Importance of Stay Awake A Thon

Young man speaks about his battle with cancer and how they Stay Awake a Thon helped him with his journey. The community showed him, "You are never alone". Please join us on May 5th at 7:00pm.

Last year, we had the opportunity to meet an amazing young man, and witness his courage, strength, and determination to beat cancer. The audience at the was moved by his words and we are so fortunate that he will be our guest speaker again this year. I hope you will join us, and show your support for those currently battling this disease. Your presence at the opening ceremony has an impact on the participants. 

Below is a message from Brian Kenny:

Last year, my life changed forever.
Usually the end of one’s senior year of high school is full of parties,
celebration, acnd simply enjoying the last few weeks that you have with all of
your friends before you’re off to college. Well, to say the least, mine was not
this ordinary type of path.

On March 4th of 2011 I was diagnosed with germinoma brain cancer, I had surgery that day, followed by two rounds of chemotherapy at NYU Medical Center, and then 24 days of proton-radiation at Mass General Hospital in Boston.

As sad as it sounds, I basically lived vicariously through my peers, just listening to their stories about how much fun they were having on the weekends, when I could barely keep my eyes open past eight o’clock at night. But then the Stay-awake-a-thon occured.

At first, when an individual is forced to deal with a conflict such as being diagnosed with cancer, it’s hard to feel anything but loneliness. I felt like that no one understood where I was coming from, or understood what I was going through. Most seventeen year olds don’t have to deal with what I went through. Yet, cancer is one of those weird things that just doesn’t care who you are, where
you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished.

The stay-awake-a-thon,
brought that sense of community to me that I needed. When I was asked to spek
last year, I had just begun my journey; I didn’t know what really to say. Mr.
Perlman spoke before me about being a caregiver, and how important that support is for someone that is going through an illness. That’s when I broke down, I remember looking into the stands at my mother and father, and just breaking down. Looking over my friends and seeing all of them crying, I knew that I wasn’t alone anymore.

The stay-awake-a-thon, brings the community together, and gives support to anyone that wants it. That’s the biggest thing that I gained from the event. It let’s everyone known that there are people that care, and that together we’ll conquer this beast.
God bless.

By Brian Kenny

Please join us this year, on Saturday May 5th at 7pm for the opening ceremony and help us celebrate with survivors, and provide support and encouragement to those currently battling this disease. All proceeds will go to the new Cancer Center at Hudson Valley Hospital and Happiness is Camping- for children with cancer. For more information go to www.henhudleos.org and click on the SAA Thon tab. Or, call 914-736-7473 for more information.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michelle Carter April 19, 2012 at 05:07 PM
What a powerful and inspirational story, thanks for your candor, Brian. We are so fortunate to live in such a strong, close community.

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