2017-04-21 / Community

Sam’s Walk-A-Thon Hopes To Raise Awareness For CFC

By Maria Elena Perez

A group of walkers from 2013. A group of walkers from 2013. For seven years, Scholar’s Academy student Samantha Colleran has been raising money for CFC International, an organization that raises awareness about Cardio Facio Cutaneous Syndrome (CFC).

Colleran’s close family friend, Nola, was diagnosed with CFC – a rare genetic disease that affects a person’s heart, skin and facial features – when she was born.

“This fundraiser is super important to me because not a lot of people know about it,” said Colleran. “It’s not about the money, it’s about spreading awareness.”

Colleran originally began donating to the foundation by selling and painting the shells she and her mother, Rachel Colleran, collected from the beach. After Hurricane Sandy, they wanted to find another way to give back to the organization, which led to the start of the first walk-athon.

Samantha Colleran with Nola. Samantha Colleran with Nola. “After finding out that Nola was sick, it prompted Samantha to raise awareness. CFC is so rare that no one really knows anything about it,” said Rachel.

Since the third grade, Samantha, now a sophomore in high school, has been raising money for the organization through the yearly walk-a-thon.

“She came up with this idea on her own and has been doing it on her own,” said Rachel.

Last year, Samantha raised nearly $6,000 for the organization, a feat that Rachel is very proud of.

“She’s such a good soul,” said Rachel. “As a parent, you watch and see how her leadership has grown. Now, with the walk-a-thon, she has everyone in the community getting involved. She’s become a little organizer.”

Samantha is optimistic about turning out a large crowd this year and hopes to educate more people about the disease.

“Nola is a great kid. I never dread doing this every year,” said Samantha.

The seventh annual “Sam’s Walk- A-Thon” will take place on Saturday, April 22 at noon. The walkathon will start on Beach 149th Street and will continue down Rockaway Beach Boulevard to Beach 129 Street. It will then go up to Newport Avenue and return to Beach 149th Street. Water and snacks will be provided at the finish line.

If someone wishes to donate but is unable to walk, donations can be mailed to Samantha Colleran at 232 Beach 149th St., Neponsit, NY 11694. Donations in the form of a check should be made out to CFC INTERNATIONAL with the phrase “Sam’s Walk-A-Thon” in the memo.

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