The Camillus community comes together to support a little girl who lost her battle with a brain tumor. Sophie Kawejsza was eight when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor that didn't respond to traditional treatments. Our Katie Gibas has more, on the first ever 'Skate 4 Sophie Skate-a-thon.'
CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- Sophie Kawejsza seemed to touch the lives of everyone she came in contact with.
"She was fun, brave and my best friend," said Morgan Vandemark, one of Sophie's friends.
Sophie was a 3rd grader at Stonehedge Elementary School when she was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. She died this January two weeks before her 9th birthday. Sophie was a hockey player, which is why family and friends thought a skate-a-thon would be a perfect event to honor her. Hundreds of people skated for hours Saturday to show their support.
"She was one of my bestest friends and she was always there for me, so I'm going to be there for her," said Amanda Demmerle, another one of Sophie's friends.
"It's overwhelming. The amount of support people have shown us through everything has just been phenomenal," said Robert Kawejsza, Sophie's Father.
All of the money raised from the event will got to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation which supports families with children with brain tumors across the country and also funds research to help find a cure.
"It's really important. I want them to help find the cure for a brain tumor," said Demmerle.
Jenee Kawejsza, Sophie's Mother added, "There's a lack of research, a lack of treatment for certain types of brain tumors, especially the kind Sophie had. The kind that she had didn't respond to and doesn't respond to the kind of conventional treatments they have out there."
Sophie's parents say the event was such a success, they plan to continue the skate-a-thon in Sophie's name for years to come.
The event raised $11,000.
For more information on how to donate, check out the link below.