Drive a Dream Car! That’s what the parents of Sean Shumaker wanted for his 21st birthday, ten months before he passed away from a long battle with cancer. Now a lime green, one of Shumaker’s favorite colors, 2011 Special Edition Synergy Chevy Camaro will be raffled off in his honor and to kick-start a foundation created in his name.
Sean’s Standing Strong Memorial Fund has been formed for the purpose of assisting young people affected by cancer. It will provide financial assistance toward educational pursuits or participation in recreational activities where the young person’s illness creates a barrier to leading a full and meaningful life.
This raffle ‘event’ will be the annual fundraiser created by Shumaker’s family and friends. Three hundred (300) tickets for the car will be sold at $150 each from Feb. 8 through March 30, 2013. Tickets can be purchased at Botnick Chevrolet, 179 Front St. in Binghamton, N.Y. or by calling (607) 222-9341. The Winner will be drawn on March 30 at 2 p.m. and announced at a Tailgate Party at Botnick Chevrolet.
Proceeds of the raffle will benefit in its entirety Sean’s Standing Strong Memorial Fund and The Magic Paintbrush Project’s workshops serving medically fragile children and young adults.
In 1998, Hillcrest resident Sean Shumaker was just eight years old when he was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. After almost two years of treatment with numerous chemotherapies and other drugs at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, the leukemia came back and subsequently, he then needed another two years of treatment, including cranial radiation before he was cured of this horrible disease.
Little did anyone know that in the future, at the age of 17 and now in high school, in 2007, Sean would encounter this disease once again in the form of brain cancer, shown to be a direct result from the treatment from his earlier leukemia. But that didn’t stop Sean. After finding the right hospital and doctors at Duke University in North Carolina, Sean continued his fight with 18 months of chemotherapy and radiation, all while attending high school, college and living his life. Everyone thought the battle had been won.
However, after being off treatment and in remission for one year, the cancer reappeared and challenged him once again. Sadly his fight against this devastating disease came to an end at the age of 21, on Jan. 10, 2012.
Throughout his life and struggles, Sean remained an inspiration to so many, friends, family and whoever he came into contact with. He maintained an upbeat attitude with a quirky sense of humor. He continued to believe.