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Bringing a smile to a child in need

by Mary Pallotta and Jamie Kaufman, October 19, 2006

Some of the Guardian Brain Foundation board members: (L-R, back) Catherine Montero, Phil Montero, John Brottenberg, Senator Charles Fuschillo Jr., Bob Gentzel, Assemblyman David McDonough, Michael Pallotta, Ira Kaufman; (L-R, front) Casey Gentzel, Joan Gentzel, Brandon Gentzel, Erin Gentzel, Mary Pallotta, president of The Guardian Brain Foundation

On a recent Thursday evening, state Senator Charles Fuschillo Jr. Assemblyman David McDonough and The Guardian Brain Foundation helped bring a smile to little Erin Gentzel and her family.

They sat in a quiet room in Matteo’s restaurant in Bellmore where Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman David McDonough presented Erin with certificates for her courage and inspiration.

Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman McDonough provided the foundation with grants to help provide support services to patients. The Guardian Brain Foundation provides Erin with support services. What a wonderful evening to celebrate Erin’s smile and the warmth and grace of the Gentzel family!

Erin, who is six years old, was diagnosed with a mass on her brain on October 31, 2005. She had two surgeries and is on chemotherapy treatments for a brain tumor.

Erin helped color butterflies, which are colored across America, to help bring awareness to brain tumors for The Guardian Brain Foundation. Erin’s brothers entertained with laughter as they danced around the table with smiles.

Erin enjoyed all the wonderful presents, but, most importantly the presences of each other were touching. Everyone was inspired and touched by the strength of Erin and her family that night, and it makes one think about the importance of being there for one another.

There is no greater gift than to touch someone else’s life in this world we live in. Life is about choices and we choose to make a difference.

The mission of The Guardian Brain Foundation is to provide support services and help advance neuroscience research for children and adults with injuries and tumors of the brain.