June 21, 2006
Brian Patrick Sullivan is five years old and recently graduated from nursery school. He is considered a cute, witty, well-mannered child by those who know him. He enjoys playing soccer, the beach, and fishing with his father, Daniel Sullivan, and his interests range from Spider-Man to dinosaurs. His family has lived in Sag Harbor for over 30 years, and Brian considers it to be his "favorite whaling town."
Brian is also being treated at Stony Brook Hospital for a malignant brain tumor. He has already undergone extensive surgery to remove part of the tumor, which sits on his optic nerve, causing loss of vision in his right eye. There is still a long road ahead, however. The next step is 42 days of radiation followed by months of chemotherapy.
Since he was diagnosed, Brian and his family have received an outpouring of local support. Daniel Sullivan, Brian's father and a local carpenter, and Jennifer Sullivan, his mother and teacher's assistant at the Aquebogue Elementary School, have received letters of hope and best wishes from friends and concerned strangers.
"It is hard to tell how Brian is taking this ordeal because he is only five years old," said Susan Faron-Mogan, Brian's cousin. "He wants to do things that five year-olds do like play soccer."
Faron-Mogan, who Brian calls "auntie," is helping to organize a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help his family offset the high costs of treatment. Faron-Mogan added the family was very thankful for all the support that they had received.
The fundraiser, which the family hopes will attract 200 people, will be held Saturday in the gymnasium at Stella Maris School in Sag Harbor from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Rich Faron and Stephanie Mogan will preside over the kitchen for the dinner, which will include spaghetti, soft drinks, salad, and dessert and a DJ spinning music. The meatballs are donated from Cactus Grill and the sauces and dressings donated from Newman's Own, which, Faron-Mogan said, had been "exceptionally helpful." Tickets to the fundraiser are $15 for adults and $10 for kids, and can be purchased at Spinnakers, Cromer's Market, Southampton Hospital, Havens, and Flash Backs.
In addition to the dinner, there will be a raffle and silent actions for merchandise and gift certificates donated from local restaurants and shops, including B. Smith's, Bagel Buoy, Conca D'Oro, Dock House, Harbor Pets, the Sag Harbor Kite Shop, Provisions, Sag Harbor Liquors, Spinnakers, and Style Bar.
Tickets for the sports-oriented raffle are $20, and the drawing will be held at the dinner. The third prize will be four Yankees tickets, second prize, four Islanders tickets with locker room passes to meet the team, and first prize will be a luxury box at Shea Stadium, with 15 tickets to the game.
Donations can also be made to Brian's Fund c/o Sheila Faron, 135 Noyac Avenue, Sag Harbor, N.Y., 11963. For more information call Susan Faron-Morgan at (845) 309-3040 or Claudette Garley at 521-0826.