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Cancer never sleeps

Shellstrong Foundation’s Student Advisory Board holding one of many bake sales. Photo submitted.

Shellstrong Foundation’s Student Advisory Board holding one of many bake sales. Photo submitted.

— Shellstrong Foundation’s Student Advisory Board holding one of many bake sales. Photo submitted.

Cancer never sleeps. But at least for one night, the people fighting it won’t, either.

The Shellstrong Foundation’s most recent effort, the Be Strong Stroll, will be held Saturday, June 2, overnight into Sunday. It will be held at Burnt Hills Ballston Lake High School starting at 5 p.m. and will end at 7a.m. the following morning.

The event will include a carnival leading up to the all-night walk. The evening will feature music, games, prizes, concessions and souvenirs. The event will raise money for The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer at Albany Medical Center, Double H Ranch (a camp for critically ill and/or disabled children) and local families.

This walk will be another link in a growing chain of charity efforts by the Shellstrong Foundation. The organization was started in June2011 by Matt and Kim Shell of Burnt Hills as a way to give back to the community that had rallied in support and organized a walk, the ShellstrongStroll, in May 2010 in honor of Matt and their son, Jacob.

Matt Shell was diagnosed with Stage 2 squamous cell mouth cancer in 2005 and Jacob was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in May 2009. The Be Strong Stroll is a reprise of the Shellstrong Stroll.

“They started the foundation last summer in response to the overwhelming support they received. The idea came at the closing of the walk in May 2010,” said the Shellstrong Foundation’s Event Coordinator Sheryl Lauria. The end of that walk finished with walkers releasing hundreds of orange balloons. Orange is Jacob’s favorite color.

The two targets of the Be Strong Stroll have both touched Jacob Shell’s life. He has undergone intensive treatments at for The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer at Albany Medical Center. According to Kim, Matt said that the center is “the best place that you don’t want to know about.”

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