State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that Samantha “Sami” M. Curtis, formerly of Canton, was recently inducted into the New York State Senate’s Women of Distinction program in Albany, an initiative that honors women’s history in the Empire State by recognizing outstanding leaders who are making a difference in today’s world.
A remarkable teen who raised over $100,000 in memory of her mother for the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund, Sami sadly lost her life to the cancer on May 18th.
“Sami is more than just a ‘Woman of Distinction,’ she is a true profile in courage and a source of inspiration to the entire Empire State,” said Senator Ritchie.
“She truly made a difference to countless people across our region and I’m pleased to have been able to recognize her for her determination, bravery and kindness.”
Last year, Sami had a malignant brain tumor removed. Within weeks, she and her friends organized a major fundraising event called “Help Sami Kick Cancer,” which raised $62,000 for the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund. Last year, she was awarded the New York State Senate’s Liberty Award for raising more than $100,000 to fight cancer.
When Sami was just two years old, she lost her birth mother, Terri, to breast cancer. As a tribute to her mother, each year she would participate in the Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life to raise money for the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund. Over the years, she became an accomplished fundraiser. In 2011, when she was just 12 years old, she won a special award for raising over $10,000 for the Cancer Fund.
At 13 years old, Sami was asked to join the Board of the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund, making her the youngest person ever to serve as a member of its board of directors. Over the years, she has continued to raise thousands of dollars for local cancer charities and programs to help local cancer patients and their families.
“Sami has helped raise awareness about breast cancer and all forms of the disease, made people realize the importance of early detection,” Senator Ritchie said. “By her example, she has inspired countless others from the Canton Golden Bears Women’s Basketball team to St. Lawrence University’s athletes to join her personal campaign to help find a cure and help those who suffer from this deadly disease.”
Those wanting to continue to support Sami’s efforts to fight back against cancer are encouraged to donate to “Help Sami Kick Cancer” c/o The St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund, PO Box 291, Canton NY 13617. Those wishing to express acts of kindness are also welcome to donate to the Evergreen Cemetery, 256 Potter Road, Canton NY 13617; or Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US Highway 11, Potsdam NY 13676. Please specify “Sami” in the memo.
Attn. photo editors: Samantha “Sami” Curtis is pictured in the above photo