Port Henry When more than 300 people turned out for the Run/Walk for Kennedy, no one was surprised.
The 5-kilometer event raised money to help the family of Kennedy Taylor, an 11-year-old Moriah Central School student who is seriously ill.
“The school has been amazingly supportive,” said Mary Supernault, a family spokeswoman. “Kennedy’s really touched our lives. She’s pulled our community together.”
Taylor, the granddaughter of Leon and Paulette Taylor, was born with health problems. She had liver and intestine transplants before the age of 3. Now she’s battling non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, skin cancer and blood cancer.
“She’s the most amazing little girl you’ll ever meet,” Supernault said. “She’s been at death’s door several times. Paulette has never left her side.”
Taylor is the second Moriah student to face serious illness. Chastity O’Connor, daughter of Carrie O’Connor, is in remission following treatment for leukemia. She is 7 years old.
“The school and community have really helped out both girls,” Supernault said. “We’ve had a lot of fund raising events.”
Taylor wanted to be a runner. When her illness kept the Moriah Central School fifth grade student on the sidelines, others ran for her Sunday, March 11.
“We had the Girls on the Run program at school last year,” Jessica Bosarge, school counselor, said. “Kennedy really wanted to be part of it, but just couldn’t because of her illness. We thought this may be way to make her feel involved.”
That day Taylor was able to greet runners and walkers as they passed her home.
“She felt good enough to come outside,” Bosarge said. “That made it all worthwhile.”
That run/walk raised $4,500. An earlier spaghetti dinner raised $8,000. At the annual Moriah Parent-Teacher Association Moriah Madness a bake sale was held with proceeds being split between the Taylor and O’Connor families.
Both girls were able to attend Moriah Madness.
“Kennedy doesn’t want to miss an event; she’s a real social butterfly,” Bosarge said.
Taylor was returned to the hospital two days after Moriah Madness.
“She’s a wonderful girl,” Supernault said.