Long Island Brain Tumor Walk team Cal’s Crusaders will be hosting a Flapjacks Fundraiser at the Bellmore Applebee’s Saturday, July 30. At the Bellmore Applebee’s location, located at 2660 Sunrise Highway, those in attendance can enjoy a breakfast including pancakes, sausage, eggs and a beverage between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 years and under. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the National Brain Tumor Society. For additional information concerning the fundraiser or for tickets, contact the team directly at CalsCrusaders@yahoo.com or call 516-428-6828. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Cal’s Crusaders is a team to honor the memory of long time North Wantagh resident Cal Kitay, who along with his wife Barbara, moved to Wantagh in 1971 where they raised two daughters, Amy and Rachel, both graduates of MacArthur High School. Kitay studied music as a child and became a talented trumpet player where as an adult, he played in the Westbury Fire Department marching band. He spent most of his 41 year career as a laboratory technician at what is currently St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bethpage. Kitay was also known as a huge animal lover and was rarely seen without a dog or cat at his side. In his spare time, he loved to read and assemble model planes and ships.
Kitay was diagnosed with a grade 4 brain tumor five years ago. Although the tumor was removed, due to allergic reactions with the chemotherapy drug, treatment had to cease and the aggressive tumor returned a year after Kitay’s initial diagnosis. Unfortunately, this time the tumor was in an inoperable part of the brain. He passed away a month later; just three days shy of his 67th birthday. Kitay’s family and friends came together as Cal’s Crusaders for the inaugural Long Island Brain Tumor Walk two years ago.
For years, the National Brain Tumor Society has hosted events such as walks, runs, and rides to raise awareness of disease, to raise money for better treatments, and to connect the brain tumor community. In 2014, Long Island hosted its own walk for the first time, which was a total success. This year, the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk will be held Sept. 17 at Jones Beach.
The National Brain Tumor Society is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States and is rated as a four-star charity on the Charity Navigator website. About 688,000 people in the U.S. are living with a brain tumor. Although 550,000 are benign, 138,000 are malignant and more than 69,000 others will be diagnosed this year. This is why the National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and anyone who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means effecting change in the system at all levels.
For more information about the National Brain Tumor Society, the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk and team Cal’s Crusaders, visit www.braintumor.org/long-island-brain-tumor-walk.
—Submitted by Amy Beth Kitay