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CONTACT: Lt. Col. Richard Goldenberg (518) 786-4581
FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, Oct 06, 2009

New York National Guard Welcomes soldier For A Day Youth

Guard opens doors to help fulfill young boy's dream


Jacob Kaminski and his family, accompanied by representatives of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


LATHAM, NY (10/05/2009)-- Citizen Soldiers and Airmen from the New York Army National Guard will welcome a new recruit tomorrow with the visit of Jacob Kaminski, a Capital Region boy battling blood cancer. Jake will spend a day as a Soldier in the New York Army National Guard, meeting with Soldiers and The Adjutant General, familiarizing himself with military training, vehicles, helicopters and equipment and visiting with the Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing to tour an LC-130 Hercules aircraft.


Jacob and his family will tour the vehicle motor pool from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6th, followed by a tour of the Army Aviation Flight Facility from 1 to 2:30 p.m.


New York National Guard armory, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, N.Y. 12110

The Kaminski family arranged the program through Theresa Petrone, the Campaign Manager from the Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They spoke with the New York National Guard's Family Readiness Group Coordinator Julie Rutledge and Army National Guard Soldier Staff Sgt. Matthew Starr, a member of the Joint Forces Headquarters staff in Latham. Starr, a marathon runner, completed a fundraising run at the Rock'n'Roll Marathon in San Diego in May, where he met Petrone, who was the coordinator for the fundraising marathon team. Starr's efforts are part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program. "In August she (Petrone) approached me about Jake, who was the Chapter's Boy of the Year, and asked if I would be able to assist in any way to make Jake's dream of being a "Soldier for a Day" a reality," Starr explained. "I immediately presented the idea to the Chief of Staff, and here we are!" Over the past 20 years, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training (TNT) has grown to become an unparalleled sports training program. More than 390,000 participants, from first timers to seasoned athletes, have trained with the Team and achieved their best at marathons, half marathons, triathlons, 100-mile century bike rides and hiking adventures. Staff Sgt. Starr has run four marathons in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society since 2007, raising more than $10,000 towards research for treatments and to assist families with medical costs. Jacob Kiminski Jacob Richard Kaminski was born in 2000. He loves basketball, swimming and fishing, playing war and pretending he is a soldier. His battle with cancer began in May of 2004 when he was four years old. After many months of bone pain, fevers and a long illness. Jacob was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He endured 3 and a half years of chemotherapy, spinal taps and numerous days in the hospital. He acquired remission and did his last day of chemotherapy in August of 2007. He became a normal health 7 year old. He remained healthy and had perfect attendance in 2nd grade. In December of 2008 Jacob had acute pneumonia, muscle aches and a rash that would not go away. His bi-monthly visit to the oncology clinic revealed that Jacob's leukemia had returned. One week after his 9th birthday Jacob once again had to endure chemotherapy, now at a much higher dose to help him once again gain control over this disease. You can learn more about Jacob Kaminski at About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society The Leukemia & Lymphoma SocietyŽ, headquartered in White Plains, NY, with 68 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. The mission of the society is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $600 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, LLS made 4.2 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. For more information about blood cancer, visit or call the Society's Information Resource Center (IRC), (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
© NYS DMNA Press Release:New York National Guard Welcomes soldier For A Day Youth
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