2017 Run for Kids II MARATHON

Date June 3rd at 9:00 a.m. Location;  St. Bernadette School yard  

Goal:  To raise money for Julia Bruzzese, and Pediatric Cancer Research   

Sponsors:  News 12, Investor Bank

Donation: $ 40.00

marathon pledge form 2017

marathon 2017 registration form

The DHAA\ST. Bernadette Organization is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that primarily focuses on the organization of sports programs for our community.  Our civic purpose is to foster community service amongst the youth in our area.  With our greatest efforts, we also try to focus our attention to strengthen and ultimately empower our children’s sense of civic engagement and nationalism as they progress through adolescence.  In order to promote this in our children, the Knights Organization continues to sponsor community events during each sports season to raise money\ goods for various causes.   From 2006-2016, through several different fund raising events (and your generosity), the Knights and our kids have successfully raised money to contribute to many wonderful causes in our community and a good portion of these funds were donated to our military heroes through the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund and Breast Cancer Research through the American Cancer Society and Pediatric Brain Cancer research through the Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation. .

This year will be no different, as we will strive to again raise money for other wonderful causes in 2017.  Our first big fundraiser will again be a runners’ marathon for children to be held on Saturday June 3rd   , on 12th Avenue, starting from 9:00 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m.  It will mark our Tenth annual kid’s marathon.  Our 2017 marathon will be held to raise money for really special causes this year.

Part of the funds raised this year will go to our very own Julia Bruzzese.   Julia Bruzzese is a 8TH grade student at St. Bernadette school. Julia Bruzzese is an extraordinarily outgoing and loving 12 year old girl.  She has been suffering a mysterious illness since May 2015 that has caused her to lose the ability to walk; Julia is now wheelchair bound.  Julia has not been able to attend school due to her struggle with endurance, brain fog, and her lack of mobility.  Julia has spent her entire summer going in and out of hospitals undiagnosed, visiting ER’s, and seeing specialists.  This unknown illness has been devastating for the family of six.  Julia’s family had to sacrifice their father’s salary so that he can devote himself to Julia’s care.  They are suffering financial, emotional, and logistical struggles, while they desperately work towards a solid diagnosis and cure for Julia.  Julia is now suspected to be suffering from Lyme disease; it is also suspected that Lyme has triggered Gillian barre Syndrome and POTS.  The Bruzzese family has spent their life savings seeing different specialists and dealing with all the complications involved with Julia’s care.  Julia’s medical needs and medications are being denied coverage by their insurance company, while Julia slowly deteriorates.

Julia’s story has even reached the mainstream media after her meeting with the Pope, where she desperately sought out a blessing. Julia believes in a miracle, and trusts that she found it with Pope Francis.   Today Julia’s battle continues. Strong in every way, Julia remains determined to regain her life. Her goals and perspective have changed dramatically from what it was before her battle with Lyme disease began 18 months ago.   She wants to make a difference; she wants to get better so she can help those in need. Through her experience, she wants to bring knowledge about Lyme disease to others that have been misguided. She has matured beyond her years, and when she is better, we believe she will make a difference.  We are hosting our marathon to help raise funds for Julia’s medical necessities, support with her education, and help for the family to get through this logistical nightmare.  The cost of Julia’s future in battling this disease is unknown and can be astoundingly expensive. Just this past January, Julia was admitted to Methodist hospital for 11 days to undergo plasmapherisis (process that removes the affected plasma and replace it with good plasma or a plasma substitute).   We continue to pray for Julia and hope that one day she will be cured. We pray hard for Julia, we pray that God guides and protects her throughout her journey.

Our marathon proceeds will also go to support research for childhood cancer through the Olivia Boccuzzi foundation.   The Olivia Boccuzzi foundation continues to fund research for childhood cancer specifically pediatric brain cancer.  Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer in children and adolescents. Cancer claims the lives of more children each year than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis and diabetes combined.   Each year in the United States, approximately 13,500 children and adolescents 18 and younger are diagnosed with cancer, that’s more than a classroom of kids a day.   Approximately 2,500 children and adolescents die of cancer each year. 1 out of every 330 children in America will develop cancer before their 20th birthday. More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.   Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class or geographic region. Every family is potentially at risk. In the past 20 years, the FDA has initially approved only ONE drug for any childhood cancer. The causes of most pediatric cancers remain a mystery and cannot be prevented. Unlike most adult cancers, they are not the result of lifestyle choices and exposures.   Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, have largely failed. Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. (Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread; yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis). Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured; yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.   Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including: brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas, relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.   By raising awareness of the fact that childhood cancer remains the number one disease killer of America’s children, we can raise the awareness of the need for greater research funding.

 The mission of the Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation is to provide funds to medical or scientific personnel and/or institutions that are actively researching cures for pediatric brain tumors through medical trials and scientific research. With the help of our medical advisory board, which consists of world-renowned pediatric Neuro-Oncologists, we support the most viable research projects and trials in an effort to find a cure for brain tumors. The Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation is also committed to providing education and raising public awareness about pediatric cancers and the lack of funding that is currently allocated towards children from the government and other sources. They believe that increased awareness will lead to more funding and better outcomes.

If you have any questions, please call me at 917-675-1476

Thank you.

Sincerely Yours,

Peter J. McCarthy,  President

Dyker Heights Athletic Association