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Buchanan Rowing Team Races for Hope

PEEKSKILL--- A rowing team based out of Buchanan raced on Saturday’s Dragon Boat Races to raise awareness about Leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. The team has raised almost $2,000 for Edna’s Hope , a foundation started by a Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) patient and Bronx officer in the NYPD, Edna Curley.

“We attended a fund raiser they had last year,” said Kelly McKinley, whose mother is being treated for LMS, “and we felt like we met extended family members. My mother connects with Edna.” The rowing team is made up of close friends and family members, said McKinley.

Because of the rarity of LMS there are a limited number of foundations and a limited amount of resources available for research. “Because it’s so rare,” said McKinley, “there’s not a lot of interest in it.” The National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation says that LMS strikes about four in every one million people, and that the cancer affects “too many patients to be considered an orphan cancer with government research dollars granted and too few to gather the attention from the drug manufacturers.”

Although Edna Curley died from LMS in October of 2009, about four years after she started the foundation, her family is comforted by the life the foundation has taken on. “Someone else is thinking about the foundation,” said Tom Curley, Edna Curley’s husband. “Something my wife started is living on for other people.”

“She was awesome,” said 13-year-old Nicole Curley about her mother. “She’s really loving and inspiring, and she puts other people before herself."

“You can only hope to be in remission,” said McKinley about the incurable disease.

Six other teams participated in the Cancer Awareness Dragon Boat Race on Saturday. A rose toss ceremony to “honor the people who have fought cancer but also to honor the people who weren’t so fortunate” was held after the race, said Executive Director of the Peekskill Celebration, Cathy Montaldo.

People interested in donating to Edna’s Hope should make checks payable directly to the foundation, and can visit the foundation’s website for more information.

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