Saratoga County

Clifton Park teenager who fought leukemia dies

Funeral services will be held Friday for Nicholas Cammarata, a 13-year-old boy who had been diagn

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Funeral services will be held Friday for Nicholas Cammarata, a 13-year-old boy who had been diagnosed in July with leukemia.

Cammarata died Sunday evening at Albany Medical Center Hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was surrounded by family and friends, according to a family entry on the caringbridge.org Web site.

Cammarata was the focus of a Sept. 26 fundraising event for cancer research and for raising awareness about the National Marrow Donor Program, where people can register to become bone marrow donors. Cammarata had T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a form of cancer. He lived on Carpenter Way and was the son of Lucas and Janine De Tillio Cammarata, and the brother of Stephen Cammarata. He was a student at Gowana Middle School in the Shenendehowa Central School District.

Colleen Williams, a friend of the family, helped to organize the Sept. 26 sign-up at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk, which brought 131 people onto the bone marrow donor registry. The Fight To Be Healed Fund was started to help with the family’s medical and related expenses, but Williams said they plan to convert it to a nonprofit organization funding charitable causes such as scholarships and cancer research.

Cammarata was probably going to have a bone marrow transplant in January at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Williams said. He had been spending a lot of time in Albany Medical Center since his July 4 diagnosis, and had to miss the Sept. 26 walk. But he was released on Oct. 20 and went home, with the cancer in remission. The brain hemorrhage came in the middle of Friday night, she said, resulting in his readmission to Albany Med on Saturday.

According to his obituary, Cammarata wanted to be a technology teacher, and had been accepted into the 9th grade technology program.

In elementary school, he was active in chorus and theater. He was a member of the Barracuda swim team at the Clifton Park YMCA, and the Knolls Swim Team. He was in Malone’s Kenpo Karate School, and also loved computers and video games.

Shenendehowa said on its Web site that he was “a thoughtful, courageous and athletic young man who was well-liked and will be greatly missed.

“When we learned of Nick’s death, the Gowana Crisis Team, which is made up of administrators, psychologists, counselors and teachers, visited every class to provide children with a time to talk and share their feelings. The team will continue to monitor student reaction and help students who may need more time to adjust to this tragedy.”

Calling hours will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. today at the Gordon C. Emerick Funeral Home, 1550 Route 9.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Edward the Confessor Church, 569 Clifton Park Center Road. Burial will be in Jonesville Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Fight to Be Healed Fund, c/o Colleen Williams, 10 Fieldstone Drive, Clifton Park, NY 12065.

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