Remembering David on Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in Thorpe
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Heather Formica and Msgr. John Chizmar look on as Jim Thorpe Mayor Michael Sofranko reads the proclamation declaring July 21st to be "Childhood Cancer Awareness Day" in honor of David Formica, a young boy from Jim Thorpe, and other children and their families that have been affected by Childhood Cancer.
On Thursday, July 21st Mayor Michael Sofranko of Jim Thorpe declared the day to be "Childhood Cancer Awareness Day" in honor of David Formica, a young boy from Jim Thorpe, and other children and their families that have been affected by Childhood Cancer.
David, who was diagnosed in 2002 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 11, lost his battle to the disease on July 21, 2006.
Speaking of her brother, Heather Formica said that "David fought for four years, he went down to Children's Hospital when he first started and then Lehigh Valley Hospital to continue his treatment until after four years he lost his battle at the age of 15".
Heather went on to say that not only was the proclamation of Childhood Cancer Awareness Day done in memory of David but also to bring awareness about it to the community so that budgets at the national level don't get cut.
She continued, by saying that right now there are 49 FDA drugs approved for cancer with only one of those being specifically for childhood cancer.
Many children with cancer are being treated with these adult drugs and this can do serious harm to them.
Heather finished by saying that "if enough mayors join together and do this in their towns it will show Congress that this is something that needs to be taken care of."
Mayor Michael Sofranko delivered his proclamation at an event held at Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe which was attended by representatives from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Angel 34, CureSearch, Bstrong, and Make a Wish.
Also participating in the event were Msgr. John Chizmar, Angela Nardini, and a friend of David Formica, Borough Council member Justin Yaich.
A large number of people from throughout the Jim Thorpe area were also present for the event.
The text of the "Proclamation by the Mayor of Jim Thorpe" delivered by Mayor Sofranko was as follows :
"Each year Thousands of children face the battle against cancer with inspiring hope and bravery.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family and community are affected.
The devotion of family and friends creates a network of support for these courageous children.
While survival rates for many childhood cancers have risen sharply over the past few decades, cancer is still the leading cause of death by disease for young Americans between infancy and age 15.
Too many families have been touched by cancer and its consequences, so we must work together and ultimately defeat this destructive disease.
On Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, we honor the young lives taken too soon and the survivors who face chronic health challenges.
We celebrate the progress made in treatment and recovery and we dedicate ourselves to fighting this disease so all children may have a chance to live a full and healthy life.
I have chosen July 21 2011 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in honor of David Formica who's life was taken too early by this awful disease.
This day we pay tribute to the health care professionals, researchers, support organizations, and advocacy groups who work together to provide hope and help to families and find cures for childhood cancers.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL SOFRANKO, Mayor of the Borough of Jim Thorpe, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim July 21, 2011 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in the Borough of Jim Thorpe."
In commenting on the community's response to this and other similar situations, Mayor Sofranko stated that "its an honor to be the mayor in Jim Thorpe, because when you see the community that comes out and supports families, that's what small towns are about."
"When you see this community come together, as it has done so many times, it just makes you feel good and I thank the community, once again, in support of families."