hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

February 8, 2012

Editorial: Cancer survivor rallies community to fight disease


Another local cause worthy of your support is the 10 Free Kick Cancer Celebration, hosted by Tara Ryan Byrne and her 10-year-old son, Senan.

Ryan Byrne was pregnant with Senan when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. She has now been free of the disease for 10 years, hence the name of the fundraiser this year, her sixth annual.

Ryan Byrne organized the first fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund in 2007 to celebrate another personal medical milestone: her non-Hodgkin lymphoma had been in remission for five years.

That first year, she hoped to raise $4,000 as a way of thanking the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and making a contribution to the fight against cancer. She brought in $20,000. Her event has now raised more than $110,000. (See story Page 1)

"It's amazing how generous the community is," Ryan Byrne said. "When the community comes together for a common goal, you can do good. Haverhill is on the map for this."

The Jimmy Fund has also been impressed by the generosity of the Haverhill community, said Suzanne Fountain, director of the Jimmy Fund.

"The contributions from Tara's Kick Cancer event go directly to cancer patient care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund," Fountain said. "Her thoughtfulness for others fighting this disease is immeasurable."

This year's event will be from 6 p.m. to midnight on Feb. 23 at Archie's Little River Ale House, 27 Lafayette Square. Tickets are $20.

Sponsors include Pentucket Bank, Quinn's Locksmith, Merrimack Valley Hospital and Trinity EMS ambulance service.

More information and tickets are available by emailing ryankickcancer@yahoo.com.