Shoreham-Wading River community raises money for first grader with leukemia

03/15/2011 11:15 AM |

The Shoreham-Wading River community is pulling together to raise money for the family of Liam McGuire, a Briarcliff Elementary School first grader who was diagnosed with cancer days before his seventh birthday in January.

Liam, a once-active boy who loved lacrosse, basketball, karate, track and soccer, developed a rare chromosomal form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Karen Campisi of Shoreham and Staci Naso of Wading River, both of whom are friends with Liam’s parents, started the nonprofit organization “Friends 4 Liam” to raise funds for the McGuire family’s medical costs and household expenses.

“I knew I needed to do something,” Ms. Campisi said.

She said Liam underwent chemotherapy treatment after his diagnosis in January, and is currently undergoing a more aggressive treatment.

“It’s effected everything about his life,” she said.

Ms. Campisi and Ms. Naso are planning a Chinese auction for May 12 at The Inn and Spa at East Wind in Wading River. Tickets are $60 and tables of 10 are $600. Half of all ticket sales will go to the family as well as all of the proceeds from auctioned items.

Friends 4 Liam members will sell orange bracelet — orange is the color of Leukemia awareness — on Thursday at the Briarcliff Elementary Science Fair and on Friday at the eighth grade girls basketball game at Prodell Middle School.

Kiddie Academy in Wading River is holding a zumba class on March 31 for $10 a person and donating all proceeds to Friends 4 Liam.

Ms. Campisi said the organization has already collected big-ticket items for the Chinese Auction fundraiser, including an iPad, a treadmill, a Wii and Knicks tickets. She said she received donations from community members within minutes of creating a Facebook page for the organization.

Shoreham-Wading River graduates from the class of 1993, Liam’s parents’ class, are planning to attend the fundraiser in large numbers, she said.

“There are a lot of alumni that have really stepped up,” she said.

To donate to Friends 4 Liam via Paypal, send money to [email protected] or mail a check to Friends 4 Liam, 31 East Amber Lane, Wading River, N.Y. 11792. For more information, call Karen Campisi at 631-965-2786 or Staci Naso at 631-741-8976.