Money for sarcoma—campaign for a cure

October 17, 2012 Editorial Staff
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At the young age of 24, an ESL teacher and a strong-minded sarcoma survivor, Lauren Fusaro, founded Invincible Campaign in January 2012, to bring sarcoma awareness to the general public.

The Bay Ridgeite is organizing her first major fundraiser with the help of her friends, Laura Becker and Ashley Liquori, to help raise money for the Sarcoma Foundation of America, from noon to 3 p.m. on November 3, at City Winery, 155 Varick Street in Soho. The Culinary Institute of America will provide the food and a live auction and raffles will be sold, including Rock of Ages tickets. Tickets will cost $75 per person, or $1,000 per table including wine and beer on tap for three hours.

Fusaro says she wants to be able to change the way people talk about the rare disease as well as teach young people how to help other young people. She wants to educate and train first year undergraduate students to work with adolescent and young adults (AYA) cancer patients and run support programs. “I want to bridge the gap between pediatric and advanced later-in-life cancer,” she said.

Fusaro spoke of her personal experience with sarcoma. “During the five years I spent in cancer remission, I traveled to six countries spread out over three continents. I skydived and I received two degrees of higher education,” Fusaro added.

Diagnosed with laryngeal cancer at 18 years-old, and told by one surgeon that she might never speak again, Fusaro had no intention of giving up her plans.

“When you’re young, you’re carefree; but, when cancer happens to you, you face the will to live,” she said.

“Each experience pulls me further from disease,” she continued. “Survivorship isn’t something we attain at a fixed point in time like a runner crossing a finish line. Survivorship is the steadying of a heart that no longer fears an empty hourglass, the shortage of time.”

Invincible was founded in hope of giving young people facing cancer the time to live what they planned, Fusaro explained.

“She’s like a sister to me; It’s an honor to have met her,” said Ashley Liquori, a close friend of Fusaro whom she met in high school, adding that she believes her friend was “meant to have this experience (as horrible as it was).” Liquori said Fusaro has a way of reaching out to people and knows that the organization will go very far.

“I will be there with her every step of the way,” Liquori added.

Both have made over 200 chocolate covered pretzels for a Zumbathon at Harbor Fitness, 9215 Fourth Avenue that will take place on Friday, October 19, to raise more money for sarcoma research.

Tickets for the event can be bought online at: www.curesarcoma.org/index.php/fundraiser/campaign_4_a_cure


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