A valiant Dyker Heights teenager, who lost his battle with cancer in September 2007 %u2013 two weeks before turning 17 %u2013 will live on to help others, thanks to the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation created by his family and friends to commemorate the late Xaverian High School student, and “to remember the daily battle of children with cancer.”
Honorary member Senator Charles Schumer and Councilmember Vincent Gentile were among the big-hearted boroughites at Russo’s on the Bay, 162-45 Cross Bay Boulevard, where the “rapidly growing” non-profit organization’s second annual Harvest Gala served to hail four individuals for their support in helping raise funds and awareness about pediatric cancer on behalf of Loccisano, also known as “Frankie,” who bravely sparred with osteosarcoma and leukemia for 27 months.
The honorees were: Salvatore Ferrera, Ph.D, retired president of Xaverian High School, 7100 Shore Road, “Leadership Award”; Kelli Kilbride, owner of Lavender Blue, 8702 Third Avenue, “Community Spirit”; Jeffrey J. Basti, MD, chief of Critical Care at Lutheran Medical Center, 150 55th Street, “Humanitarian Award”; and Shannon Rose O’Brien, an 18-year-old cancer survivor, “The Michele Grace Marciano Award of Hope,” presented to her by Alexandra Capellini, 14, also a cancer conqueror.
“From our corner of the world, we now serve the children of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania,” said Frankie’s mother, Camille, adding that along his arduous journey her son had vowed to develop his own foundation one day to make a significant difference in the lives of other children diagnosed with cancer.
Now, that has become a reality through his namesake foundation which has helped grieving families make mortgage payments, provide car fuel for hospital trips and pay for childcare, said Camille.
For more information about the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation, call Camille Orrichio Loccisano at 347-866-2045, or visit www.FrankiesMission.org.