Written by Jill Nossa Thursday, 18 April 2013 00:00
In an effort to raise money and awareness for 7-year-old Nicholas Pedone, who is battling a rare form of cancer, nearly 1,000 community members participated in a 5K Run/Walk on April 7, raising almost $24,000. The fundraiser was organized by Pedone’s cousin, Anthony Famiglietti, a 17-year-old senior at Glen Cove High School.
The race began and ended at Glen Cove High School, on a windy, brisk Sunday morning. Participants were in good spirits as they crossed the finish line, and the runners included students as well as local figures such as Mayor Ralph Suozzi, Councilman Tony Gallo, and Judge Richard J. McCord. Nicholas covered the course in a golf cart, then ran the last 100 feet to cross the finish line.
Last fall, Nicholas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, and the community has been coming together in a myriad of ways to show their love and support. Nicholas lives in Glen Cove and goes to Glen Head Elementary.
Famiglietti first mentioned the idea in a class he was taking called Community Action Using Student Empowerment (C.A.U.S.E) in the first semester of the school year. The purpose of the club is to raise money for a specific person or organization in need and donate proceeds to them. This event was originally scheduled for January but due to weather it was postponed.
Since the class was only one semester and ended in January, Famiglietti, determined to raise awareness for his cousin, continued to organize the event, with the permission of his teacher and school, along with Paulo Coelho, another member of the C.A.U.S.E class.
With Famiglietti’s hard work, he was able to get more than 500 participants pre-registered and more than 50 volunteers to help run the event. He also reached out to businesses and obtained Glen Cove Land Rover as the sponsor for this event. Additionally, he brought in a professional company to time the walk/run, allowing all the times to be posted by age group shortly after finishing.
Nicholas was diagnosed on November 2, 2012, and immediately underwent surgery to remove the mass found on his adrenal glands. Unfortunately, it could not be fully removed. His treatments are very aggressive and planned to last at least 1-1.5 years. He has had five chemotherapy treatments and has already lost all of his hair. Soon, he will go to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a stem cell transplant, and will be there for approximately for month.
For info on his journey, the disease or to donate, visit www.nicholaspedone.com.