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Bayside unites to raise money for L.I. girl who has leukemia

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The Bayside community came together Saturday to raise funds for a 4-year-old Long Island girl suffering from leukemia.

The Bayside Volunteer Ambulance Corps hosted a fund-raiser for Paige Somma of Holbrook at its headquarters on 42nd Avenue. Paige was diagnosed in September with type AML leukemia and depends on blood transfusions and platelets for her treatment, according to a Web site set up by her family.

The little girl underwent a successful bone marrow transplant before Christmas, using marrow donated by her brother Tyler.

“We’re just trying to raise money for the family and for her,” said Officer Diane Lukich of the 111th Precinct, a cousin of the little girl.

Her fellow officer at the 111th, Manny Delgado, arranged for his friends at the Bayside Volunteer Ambulance Corps to provide space for the fund-raising party.

“They were very generous,” said Lukich of the ambulance corps.

Delgado’s band, Empty Pockets, provided free entertainment and local merchants donated food for the party as well as money. Guests were asked to donate $30 for admission.

Pat Somma, Paige’s grandmother, said the family held another fund-raiser for her granddaughter on Long Island last fall.

“She’s doing better, but it’s a struggle (because) for the next five years she could have a relapse, which I hope she never does,” said Somma.

Her granddaughter goes for check-ups at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan twice a week, she said.

“I just can’t wait for the day five years is up and they say we’re home free, we’re out of this,” Somma said.

To find out how you can help, and for updates on Paige’s condition, visit www.howspaige.com. Donations can be sent to Prayers for Paige, P.O. Box 786, Holbrook, N.Y. 11741.

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