Jana Piccola Walk 4Love this Saturday
Jana Piccola was one of those rare people with a magnetic personality. Her smile and friendly nature attracted a loyal circle of friends. The group saw her through thick and thin and is still standing with her memory in solidarity, fighting hard for what the Huntington High School graduate held so close to her young heart.
A throng of more than 750 participants is expected to gather this Saturday morning (Sept. 24) for the third annual Jana Piccola Walk 4Love. The event honors the 2004 Huntington alum who fought two courageous battles against cancer before succumbing to the insidious disease on October 31, 2008.
The 5K walk/run will benefit pediatric cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where Ms. Piccola was treated during her valiant struggle. The popular Huntington grad's close-knit group of friends is second to none and they spectacularly define the word "loyal."
After mourning her loss at 21 years of age to acute myeloid leukemia, these same friends mobilized and organized the inaugural Walk 4Love in September 2009, which featured a sold-out field of participants. Last year's event was even bigger.
This year's event will kick-off on Sunday at Mill Dam Park at 9 a.m. The race course will wind along Huntington Harbor on what is expected to be a spectacular late summer morning. An 8:30 a.m. fun run for those aged 12 and younger will precede the walk/run.
On-site registration in the amount of $25 will be also available beginning at 7:30 a.m. in Mill Dam Park. Registration includes a tee-shirt. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each age group.
Hundreds of participants are expected from the Huntington School District community, including alumni, current students and athletes, parents, coaches, teachers and PTA members.
Ms. Piccola's leukemia is believed to have been a delayed side-effect of the chemotherapy and radiation treatments she received during a successful battle against stomach cancer when she was 16 years old.
An energetic and wildly popular Huntington High School teenager, Ms. Piccola played on the varsity field hockey team, participated in various club activities, earned a stack of awards along the way and compiled an impressive academic record. She was an A student at Quinnipiac University, which awarded her degree posthumously.