Sections

Benefit for Pelham Bay gal a success

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Bronx Times on Facebook.

Family came. Friends came. Nurses from Montefiore Medical Center, where Erika Altuchoff-Kenny endures chemotherapy, came. More than 300 people attended a benefit for Altuchoff-Kenny at the Manhem Beach Club in Throggs Neck on Friday, July 24.

The Pelham Bay resident, who grew up in Country Club, is terminally ill.

Altuchoff-Kenny was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago; in March, doctors discovered cancer in her brain. It has spread to her hips, spleen and spine. The mother of two is 37 years old. Altuchoff-Kenny terminated a pregnancy when diagnosed and is growing weak. Yet somehow, she manages to smile and laugh – to encourage those determined to encourage her.

At the benefit, children drew butterflies for Altuchoff-Kenny. There was live music and a raffle.

“She’s very courageous and very strong,” said Joan Iurilli, a friend. “I don’t envy the situation she’s in but I envy the type of person she is.”

After being diagnosed a year ago, Altuchoff-Kenny underwent intense radiation and chemotherapy.

In December, a PET scan showed improvement and her hair grew back. But a persistent headache sent Altuchoff-Kenny to the hospital in March. Doctors found a brain tumor on her sixth wedding anniversary – also her younger son’s fourth birthday. Altuchoff-Kenny has no life insurance; her handyman husband, Chris Kenny, never expected cancer. Altuchoff-Kenny is prisoner to a double chemo regimen.

Generous friends and relatives handle day-care and dinners. Kathleen Schmeling is Kenny’s sister and Altuchoff-Kenny’s former classmate at Lehman High School. She, her husband and three children share a two-family house with Kenny and Altuchoff-Kenny.

“[Altuchoff-Kenny] is a wonderful wife, mother, sister and friend,” Schmeling said. “

Schmeling has launched the Erika Kenny Fund; she helped a handful of cousins coordinate the benefit. On July 24, the beach club offered the Kenny boys a free yearlong membership.

“The benefit was incredible,” Kenny said. “We were overwhelmed. So many people were there. As bad as [the situation] is, it could be worse. I could be doing it by myself.”

He asked that others pray for Altuchoff-Kenny and pay attention.

“Cherish what you have and get tested,” Kenny said. “Get a mammogram.”

To lend a hand, write to the Erika Kenny Fund, care of Kathleen Schmeling, at 2847 Wellman Avenue, Bronx NY, 10461.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Bronx Times on Facebook.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group