The volunteers of St. Vito’s CYO Basketball and the Village of Mamaroneck Fire Department have joined forces to help Carlo Balsamo, a Rye Neck teen diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The community is invited to help by attending the “Caring for Carlo” spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Friday, June 26 in St. Vito’s cafeteria beginning at 5:30 pm.
Carlo, an 8th grade Honor Roll student at Rye Neck Middle School, has a brain tumor – Medulloblastoma – that cannot be treated by surgery alone. He is undergoing six weeks of radiation therapy at Mass General Hospital in Boston that will be followed by six months of chemotherapy in New York.
All funds raised will go to help defray the many expenses involved in treating the disease.
The Balsamo family issued a note expressing their gratitude: “We find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles, our fears, our doubts, our trials. Thank you for so beautifully reflecting the nature of God’s love and compassion, and to those who know us best, our family and friends, who demonstrate God’s unconditional love for us.”
The family has already attracted support from their church, community and school. As explained by Jill Carelli, the coordinator of religious education at St. Vito’s, “This family is always giving and doing for whomever needs it. We thought: why not pull together as a community, as we should, and help one of our own!”
Sue Balsamo, Carlo’s mother, has been a catechist at St. Vito’s for years. Bonnie Casterella, another catechist who suffered through kidney cancer herself, told her husband about the Balsamo’s plight. Craig Casterella, a Mamaroneck Village firefighter, got involved and recruited the rest of the department.
Students in the Rye Neck schools have been selling rubber bracelets all around town to raise funds. Additional funds will come from an entry fee to the 8th grade picnic and dance on June 24.
Emails about the family have been going from friend, to family, to friend. “Strangers that we do not even know want to volunteer for the “Caring for Carlo” night,” reported Ms. Carelli. “It is all about one human being’s compassion being touched during a crisis.”
Suggested donations for those attending the spaghetti dinner on June 26 are $10 per person, $5 for children under twelve. All proceeds from the dinner and a 50/50 raffle will go to help the family with medical expenses.
If you can’t make the dinner date, but would like to make a donation, please send your check to the: St Vito’s Religious Instruction Office, 816 Underhill Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543.