by Emma Burstiner
Greenwich families brought their dogs to Bruce Park on Saturday to raise money to cure childhood leukemia at Greenwich’s only pet friendly walk, the second annual Donna Marie Camillo’s Paws For A Cause! Last year, close 100 people attended. This year, despite the rain, almost 30 people and their dogs came to support the cause, including some from as far away as Branford. Next year, the walk will have a rain date; unfortunately, this year there was no rain date because the Abilis Walk was the next day. Mr. Fred Camillo, one of Greenwich’s state representatives, started this tradition in memory of his sister Donna Marie Camillo. She was a Cos Cob child who tragically lost her battle with leukemia at only eleven years old in 1968. At that time, the leukemia diagnosis was “a death sentence,” Mr. Camillo explained. Now, on the other hand, he shared that the cure rate is 90%. Donna’s love of people and animals inspired Mr. Camillo to create Greenwich’s first dog friendly walk. Mr. Camillo hopes to continue to commemorate his sister and work to raise the cure rate for leukemia to 100%. This year participants walked for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Lynn Gulli, a Julian Curtis School student diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on April 23, 2017. The goal was to walk for her cure! At the walk there were tables of food and a pre-planned route through scenic Bruce Park. Participants wore blue “Paws for a Cause” t-shirts. Even in rainy weather, the walk was a success, raising close to $3,000 in the battle to cure childhood leukemia, and the total is still rising.