LI Group Supports Cooley’s Anemia Foundation Fund Raiser
By Captain James A. Ridley, Sr., PAO

Riverhead, NY – September 29, 2007.  The annual “Cooley’s Anemia Awareness” bike and walk-a-thon took place today in Riverhead, NY.  For the past 10 years Civil Air Patrol’s Suffolk County Cadet Squadron 9 and the Col Francis S. Gabreski Squadron have assisted with crowd and traffic control for this event.  Captain Andean Pisano, the commander of Squadron 9 has been involved with the foundation for over 35 years ever since her best friend was diagnosed with the disease.  For the past 12 years she has been a member of the foundation’s Suffolk County Executive Board which oversees this fundraiser.  “The money the foundation collects goes towards research to find a cure” commented Pisano, “before the research began, a person diagnosed with the disease had a life expectancy of between 12 to14 years but the research has been very successful in extending people lives, in fact my friend just celebrated her 49th birthday!”

Cooley’s Anemia or Thalassemia is the name of a group of genetic blood disorders which afflicts many people around the world each year.  The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation was formed to help raise awareness of this disease and to raise funds to help find a cure. 

During the event, Cadets stand posts and assist the bikers and walkers who participate in this all day event 20 mile circular route..  Upon completion of the course participants and event volunteers including the CAP members were treated to a barbecue donated by Applebee’s Restaurant.  The Foundation has been very impressed with the support of the Civil Air Patrol and according to Tony Larino, the Foundation’s director of fundraising “we are happy to have them and don’t know what we would do without them.”