Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Erin Bentivegna is a seventh grade student at Mahopac Middle School and a three-time cancer survivor. She has been recognized for her indomitable spirit and serves as an inspiration and role model for those facing difficult challenges.
Ms. Bentivegna was only four years old when she was fi rst diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. After surgery to remove it and a year and a half of treatment, she was once again well. In November 2006, doctors told her that she had a cancerous kidney tumor. After her kidney was removed, she faced six months of chemotherapy. Again, in July of last year, Ms. Bentivegna was told she had another tumor on her brain that entailed additional surgery and then months of treatment that prevented her from going to school. Having fought and defeated cancer three times in her young life, Ms. Bentivegna is now back at school.
Ms. Bentivegna cites “surviving cancer” as her greatest personal accomplishment. She is looking forward to a future that is free of cancer and plans to someday become a kindergarten teacher.
In 2011, Community Cares honored her with the Light of Hope Award, citing her positive attitude, her spirit of life and for providing inspiration to others through her challenging personal experiences.
She enjoys eating tacos and pizza, watching the movies, “The Smurfs” and “Gnomeo and Juliet,” and dancing along with the television show, “Shake It Up.”