Huntington Local

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Walk for cancer in Huntington

On Saturday, at least 500 participants are expected to attend the Jana Piccola Walk 4Love in Huntington.

The five-kilometer run/walk to raise money for pediatric cancer research is dedicated to a Huntington woman who passed away in October from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) at 21.

Jana Lee Piccola was diagnosed with cancer at 16 in May 2003, on the day of her junior prom. She spent that summer in and out of the hospital, getting chemotherapy and radiation treatments for soft tissue sarcoma. She lost a second battle with cancer five years later when she was diagnosed with AML, a type of leukemia.

Shortly before her death, Piccola and her boyfriend and dedicated caregiver Sean Pawelec founded the Jana Lee Piccola Foundation to “give back to the children and young adults affected by pediatric cancer so they have the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest.”

“During Jana’s battle she devoted much of her time to gathering information about pediatric cancer and working to raise money for research. In fact, Jana and Sean were able to raise more than $30,000 for the cause merely a few months before she passed,” said Caitlin Latini, Piccola’s friend and event director for the foundation.

Sean Pawelec said, “People are not aware of the impact pediatric cancer has on society. Currently, one in every 330 children in the United States develops cancer before the age of 19.”
Every year approximately 1,500 children in the U.S. die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Alternate treatments need to be found so that children and young adults may have a bright, positive future,” Pawelec said. “With advancements in research and treatment, Jana’s diagnosis with cancer for the second time might have had a different outcome.”

“We hope you will consider supporting the cause and making a difference in the lives of children and their families dealing with pediatric cancer,” he said.

Registration is $25 and begins Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at Mill Dam Park on Mill Dam Road in Huntington. The five-kilometer course includes scenic views of Huntington Harbor along West Shore Road and begins at 9 a.m. For ages 12 and under, a one-mile “Fun Run” will start at 8:30 a.m.; registration is $10.

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