At the start of last week’s city council meeting, Mayor Reginald Spinello presented a citation to Josephine and Nick Pedone and the Fight Hard Smile Big Nicholas Pedone Foundation.
“Everyone knows cancer is a very disgusting disease,” said Spinello. “It knows no age, knows no color and knows no race, and it hurts when it hits home. It can affect the family and it’s hard for them to get back on their feet. But some families fight very hard, especially when they lose a child. We have one family here tonight who has fought very hard to keep the memory alive and to help find a cure for childhood cancer.”
He noted that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the Pedones have been dedicating their lives to raising awareness.
“Please accept this award on behalf of the city for all that you do to make people aware and to fight that ugly disease,” said Spinello.
Josephine Pedone then spoke.
“Glen Cove is one of the best towns you’ll ever want to live in,” said Josephine. “While I live five minutes from the Glen Cove border, I am a Glen Cover my entire life. I never realized how wonderful this community was until our son was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. We lost him at the age of 7 and Nicholas was our only child. We had no choice; we decided to keep fighting and keep his memory alive and help other children fighting cancer.”
She said they founded a foundation in his memory, with a mission to deliver smiles to courageous kids fighting cancer.
“The most important thing is raising awareness,” Josephine said. “I think that anyone with children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews would agree that a child is one hundred percent of your life—you would die for your children, right? Well, the government only thinks they’re four percent of our life, because the government only funds four percent of cancer research to childhood cancer and out of that four percent, there are 12 different categories of childhood cancer; the type of cancer depends on the funding.”
On Sunday, Sept. 6, the third annual Nicholas Pedone 5K will take place at Glen Cove High School. She said last year’s run attracted 1,200 people and they raised more than $70,000 for the foundation. They have been working with Winthrop University Hospital, Cohen’s Children’s Hospital and Montefiore in the Bronx.
“I just ask one favor of you for September,” said Josephine. “Let’s help raise awareness to the gold ribbon, not the yellow ribbon. Gold is for childhood cancer and the more awareness we raise, the more funding we can get from the government. One more percent of funding could equate to more than $50 million of funding to childhood cancer.”
She asked residents to wear a gold ribbon or tie one around pole or tree in town to help raise awareness.
“So please, just help start the conversation. Wear gold, be bold and go gold,” said Josephine.
The children’s half-mile fun run for kids 10 and under begins at 8:15 a.m. and the 5K starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6, at Glen Cove High School, 150 Dosoris Lane. Check-in is from 7 to 8:30 a.m. in the Glen Cove High School gym. The cost is $30 for the 5K, $10 for the fun run. For more information and to register, visit www.fighthardsmilebig.org.