6-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Rallies Community for Penguin Conservation
- Almost 80 people join “Team
Aghelos” at the WCS Run for the Wild
- Dedicated to helping save
penguins and other wildlife
- More than $3000 raised by Team Aghelos
- Visit www.runforthewild.org to help Aghelos’ cause
- WCS's Run
for the Wild, Saturday,
Bronx, N.Y. – April 25, 2011 – Aghelos
Kouvaras, a six-year-old first grader from South Salem Elementary in Port
Washington, Long Island, has been in and out of the hospital for the past eight
months receiving very aggressive chemotherapy treatments for non-Hodgkin’s
lymphoma. During his fight against cancer, Aghelos decided he wanted to help
save endangered penguins.
Aghelos was diagnosed with a tumor in his abdomen as a
result of Burkitt’s lymphoma, a very rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in
September, 2010. During his time in the hospital, he read several books about
penguins and learned about the threats they face. He became passionate about the penguin plight and decided he
wanted to help.
“In the hospital, I asked Aggie if he had a wish; if there
was anything he wanted,” said Elizabeth Kouvaras, Anghelos’ mother. “He didn’t
want an X-box or a Playstation. He said he wanted to save penguins. What are we
going to do without animals, he asked. If they die, we will all die.”
The sentiment inspired the Aghelos family, teachers and
community to help him get his wish by raising money for penguin conservation by
joining the Wildlife Conservation Society’s third annual Run for the Wild on
Saturday, April 30 which is dedicated to helping save penguins.
Four first grade teachers at Aghelos’ school rallied
students around the cause, which soon inspired the entire community of Port
Washington. The school held bake sales and other fundraisers to help Aghelos
get his wish and raise money for the run.
“Aghelos is an encouragement to everyone at WCS,” said John
Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “His work to raise
money to save penguins while fighting his own battle is inspirational. He has
become a role model for an entire community. Team Aghelos embodies the spirit
of the Run for the Wild – it is not a contest. It is a means for people to come
together in support of a cause.”
Having completed his chemotherapy treatments just weeks
before the Run for the Wild, Aghelos will be joining the nearly 80 members of
Team Aghelos on Saturday, April 30 at the Bronx Zoo and will participate in the
Run for the Wild 5k run and family fun run/walk.
WCS works around the globe to
save wildlife and wild places. Changing climate, overfishing, and habitat loss
are some of the factors affecting penguin populations. Of the world's 17
penguin species, 12 are experiencing serious population declines with some
facing extinction within the 21st century. WCS is committed to ensuring a
future for penguins where they live, including Punta Tombo on the coast of
Argentina, home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world.
Aghelos and his supporters have already raised more than
$3,000 for the Run for the Wild and are working to raise more before race
day. Donations to Team Aghelos can
be made online at www.runforthewild.org.
The Run for the Wild will be held at the Bronx Zoo on
Saturday, April 30. The 5k race begins at 8:30 a.m. and the family fun run/walk
begins at 8:45 a.m.
The WCS Run for the Wild is made possible by the following
Aquafina, Fisher-Price®, Montefiore
Benjamin Moore, eStar, Hard Rock Cafe, Monroe College, Stonyfield Farm, UBS
Daily News, Z-100
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; email@example.com
saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation,
education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife
parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.Together these activities change
attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in
harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the
integrity of life on Earth.
The WCS Bronx Zoo is open daily
from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old)
$12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars
and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River
Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19,
#22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just
outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com
or call 718-367-1010.
If you would like to guide
your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support
of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation