By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Westborough – In March, Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School eighth-grader Corinne Sciarappa, 14, was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. A form of cancer which makes up about 3 percent of all childhood cancers, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a soft tissue cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles.
In early March Corinne began what will be a year-long course of treatment using chemotherapy and radiation at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. And, although side effects of her treatment keep Corinne from her regular school day, she is sporadically able to attend some classes and participate in extracurricular programs including the middle school play and the Junior Central District Massachusetts Music Educators Association (CDMMEA) band.
Corinne is a member of Girl Scout Troop 30507 and attends services at the Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Westborough. She enjoys playing the oboe and has recently shown an interest in playing the ukulele.
As she journeys through cancer treatment, Corinne does not do so alone. She is joined by her parents, Ken and Pauline, and her brother Luke, a senior at Westborough High School – as well as countless friends and the community at large. Luke will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall so he will be close by to offer support to Corinne.
A blood drive will be held in Corinne’s honor Monday, May 11, at the Congregational Church of Westborough, 57 W. Main St., from 2 to 7 p.m. Appointments are preferred. To schedule an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org (sponsor code “Corinne”) or call 800-RedCross. If you have eligibility questions, call 781-461-2210 or visit www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements.
“We hope people will consider participating in this effort. Many cancer patients need blood and Corinne will, too,” said an event organizer. “The family appreciates people showing their support by donating blood.”
Volunteers are needed. To volunteer, email [email protected].
Financial donations to support the Sciarappa family will also be accepted at the drive or can be mailed to Central One FCU, 714 Main St., Shrewsbury MA 01545. Checks should be made out to Central One FCU with “Sciarappa Family Fund, Account 801189863” in the memo line.