Home Community Community News Shoreham-Wading River community comes together to support teenager fighting rare tumor

Shoreham-Wading River community comes together to support teenager fighting rare tumor

Courtesy photo: Caryn Albert

The Shoreham-Wading River community has come together to help one of its own.

Alexa Boucher, a 14-year-old Shoreham-Wading River freshman was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in December.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancerous tumor that’s grown in her eye socket, said Alexa’s grandmother, Pat Capone of Wading River.

Alexa has been having chemotherapy treatments at Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan and radiation treatments at a facility in New Jersey that specializes in treating this condition, Capone said.

Caryn Albert, a family friend, is one of the organizers of a fundraising dinner this weekend at the Wading River Fire Department. The dinner, which is already sold out, is being catered by Tuscany Gourmet Market in Miller Place.

“Tuscany owners Richie Fink and Tommy O’Grady are donating everything,” Albert said. “Food, paper goods, wait staff. Everything. Their generosity is amazing. Local DJ Terence LeGrady, owner of Beyond the Music Productions is providing music. A photo booth is being donated by 4th Generation DJ & Entertainment. The Girl Scouts have been wonderful, donating basket upon basket [for a raffle]. Members of the middle school honor society are volunteering to help at the event,” Albert said.

“I’ve always said it takes a village,” she said. “We live in a great town where people really help each other out.”

The family has to deal with a lot of extraordinary expenses to get treatment for Alexa, including traveling back and forth to NYC and New Jersey, often staying overnight so she can have treatments on consecutive days, Albert said.

Capone said the community has been incredibly supportive and her family is very grateful for all the help. There have been other, smaller fundraisers to help her granddaughter and more are planned.

Alexa’s friends at SWR have formed “Alexa’s Army” and have been selling sweatshirts and tee-shirts to benefit her medical fund. A car wash is planned for April 29 From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shoreham Fire Department. (Rain date: May 6) Alexa will also be one of four recipients in the  LAXOUT CANCER at SWR High School on May 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Friends have set up a gofundme page for Alexa. Donations can also be made to The Alexa Boucher Medical Fund,  P.O. Box 952, Wading River NY 11792.

“Alexa is a very strong girl and she’s handling all of this well,” her grandmother said.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is curable and Alexa is doing really well with the treatments. “It’s a grueling routine but it has helped her tremendously,” Capone said.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.