On October 19, 1999, just a few weeks after complaining of headaches, 8-year-old Carly Collard Cottone was diagnosed with medulloblastoma – an aggressive form of brain cancer. Three days later, the tumor was removed. Carly began radiation treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute soon after.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time Carly was touched by cancer. She lost both of her biological parents--Tony and Judie Cottone--to cancer during the first seven years of her life. But Carly faced her own battle with cancer with amazing courage and optimism. After all, she had goals and dreams--to go to a Backstreet Boys concert and grow up to become an interior decorator. Nothing was going to slow down this little girl who had so much living to do.
Throughout her fight, Carly was very appreciative of the support she received from her family members and friends. As a way of showing her appreciation, she decided early on in her treatment that she wanted to help other kids who were also battling cancer. Thus, Carly's Club was born. With the love and support of her adoptive parents, Chuck and Carole Ann Collard, Carly was able to fulfill her dream of helping other families touched by the disease.
Sadly, Carly lost her hard-fought struggle with the disease in August of 2002. Little did she know the positive impact that Carly's Club would have on the lives of the thousands of children diagnosed with cancer each year.
Carly created a beautiful legacy – and you can help us continue it for all children diagnosed with cancer, and to offer support to families across Western New York. Thank you for your generosity to help find cures and save lives!
Christmas 2001: Chuck, Carole Ann, Carly, Matthew and Josh