Friday, 25 February 2011 00:00
On Saturday, March 12, volunteers from all over Long Island will travel to Johnny McGorey’s in Massapequa to take part in a Conquer Kids’ Cancer event. The day will be about more than good cheer as volunteers will shave their heads all in a way to show solidarity with the thousands of youngsters who each year are diagnosed with some form of cancer.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money to fund research to find cures for childhood cancers and to give survivors long and healthy lives, sponsors the event. The foundation has laid down a challenge to everyone who wants to help raise money for pediatric cancer research: Be a hero for kids with cancer by shaving your head in return for pledges of financial support from friends and family.
Participants find that shaving their head in solidarity with the approximately 160,000 children who are diagnosed with cancer each year and frequently lose their hair as a result of treatment, is a small sacrifice in comparison to what these children endure.
On March 12, the head shavings will commence at 2 p.m. The organization will also be raising money through raffles that have been donated by local merchants and friends.
The honored guest of this year’s event is 5-year-old Colin Conaty, a native of Massapequa and a student and parishioner at St. William the Abbot, Seaford. Colin will be joined at Johnny McGorey’s with his parents and four older siblings.
Colin’s journey began in February 2007 when he was diagnosed with an ependymoma. That moment thrust an ordinary family’s life into an unimaginable new way of life. One surgery was followed by countless MRIs, CAT scans, blood tests, chemotherapy, X-rays, stem cell harvests, and seven more surgeries.
In May of that year, Colin’s tumor was removed. Surgery was followed by eight weeks of daily radiation. Colin has a permanent shunt and undergoes “routine” MRIs. At this time he is doing well: he runs, jumps, reads, and enjoys life. The Conaty family knows things could have been different and for many families they are. They know too many little angels that have gotten their wings too soon. They feel they have been blessed and are grateful. The Conaty family also hopes that Colin’s story will inspire others to volunteer their time and assist Conquer Kids’ Cancer in all the good work they do.
Johnny McGorey’s is located in downtown Massapequa at 131 Front St.