Comsewogue Rallies Behind Student Battling Cancer

Comsewogue Rallies Behind Student Battling Cancer
Students who participated in the St. Baldrick's Day event

The Comsewogue School District celebrated a St. Baldrick’s Day this year that was more personal than ever. Staff and students raised over $10,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation through a Disrict-wide fundraiser at JFK Middle School dedicated to Tenzin Tanaka, an 8-year old Terryville Road Elementary School student who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic (T-ALL) leukemia in June 2022. The fundraiser was one of several the District dedicated to Tenzin to support him and his family through his battle with cancer.

“When we heard about what Tenzin and his family has been going through, we wanted to do anything we could to help and support them through this difficult time,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Quinn. “Tenzin is a beam of sunshine and such a strong fighter who embodies what it means to be a warrior. We are so proud of him and everyone in the community working to support the Tanaka family.”

Students participated in the St. Baldrick’s Day celebration by setting a fundraising goal and pledging to shave their heads if they reached it. JFK Middle School Assistant Principal James Hilbert also participated and had his head shaved by student Declan McQuire, who collected over $2,200.

The St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser aimed to raise awareness and funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit at the forefront of fighting childhood cancer that has been a major resource for Tenzin and his family.

Tenzin, his brother Paxton and his mother Colleen joined the Comsewogue School District this September. Tenzin is currently undergoing chemotherapy, which he will be receiving until October 2024. His mother Colleen is a single parent who had to leave her job after Tenzin’s diagnosis to take care of him.
The St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser was one of the many ways the community has come together to support Tenzin and his family. Two days after the fundraiser, the District held a successful blood drive in partnership with Stony Brook University and dedicated it to Tenzin and all children fighting cancer. The Terryville Road Elementary School PTA also hosted a comedy fundraiser dedicated to Tenzin at the Moose Lodge in Mount Sinai. The event, for adults only, featured four comedians and included raffle baskets, a 50/50 raffle, food and a cash bar.

Tenzin’s favorite superhero is The Flash, who, Tenzin explains, is not only known for having super speed abilities, but is also capable of super healing. The District captured that sentiment in “Tenzin’s Fan Club” t-shirts and bracelets they are selling imprinted with “Team Tenzin” and The Flash’s signature lightning bolt.

For more information about the Comsewogue School District, please our District Website. in the District can also be followed on our social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

App users: Visit this link to view pictures from the St. Baldrick's Day event.