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News of Otsego County

Vincenza Alessi

This Week – 04-14-22

THIS WEEK’S NEWSPAPERS

The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

April 14, 2022

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

They are the champions! Meet the Laurens Central School Jaguars SA-1 Winter Guard, fresh off their championship turn at the Mid York Color Guard Circuit’s competition on April 2 in Clifton Park. Top row, left to right, Athena Saggese, Sophie Gilmore, and Mackenzie Budine; center row, left to right, Sierra Rondeau, Natalie Davis, Mallory Kovacs, and Alexis Cole; lower row, left to right, Alicia Stevens, Isabella Failla, Emma Hughes, and Mackenzie Louden. Read all about their victory and all the work it takes to keep the team at peak performance in our story HERE.

FRONT PAGE

Laurens Color Guard wins regional championship

State Police Conclude Hartwick Incident An Accident

Remembering Vincenza Alessi

Inside The Paper

Otsego County, Mohawk Valley group team up to go green

North American Cashmeres, junior apprentice program among Hulse Hill’s treasures

League of Women Voters talk democracy at the local level

Gas tax holiday, drinks-to-go, volunteer fire department aid in state’s $220 billion budget

Springfield Man Charged With Ghost Gun Felony Count

Catskill Community Players spread “Rumors” April 29 – May 1

Perspectives

Editorial

Gaslighting Hartwick

COLUMNS

Commentary: Don’t be fueled

OBITUARIES

Janet L. Frankl

Carol A. S. Gorsin

CALENDAR

Happenin’ Otsego

Vincenza Alessi

Remembering Vincenza Alessi

Her time on Earth was far brief, but her legacy of love and caring goes on.

Cherished Vincenza Alessi, 28, became an angel on Sunday, April 10, after a two-year battle against a rare blood disorder. Heaven is so lucky to have her home.

Vincenza was a 2012 graduate of Cooperstown Central School, earning her degree in psychology and women’s studies from the State University of New York at Oneonta. She recently had earned her master’s degree in special education from Grand Canyon University.

Vincenza taught special education classes at Charlotte Valley Central School in Davenport, New York and, while studying for her master’s, substituted for two years at Cooperstown Central.

She loved teaching and her students adored her. She found great joy in the young children she was able to help and looked forward to a long career using her talents in her chosen field. Without knowing, Vincenza even taught the dieticians at New York Presbyterian Hospital how to expand and modify their menu selections; as her health deteriorated and she was eating less, she would ask her nurse for simple foods not on the menu: pasta and butter, pasta and red sauce, string cheese, salad with chicken. When she returned to New York Presbyterian for the final time several weeks ago, staff reached out to proudly show her a brand-new menu for patients – one filled with the very dishes she had requested, now a part of the Hospital’s regular offering.

Be The Match Event a Success

Be The Match Event a Success

On Tuesday, the Be the Match bone marrow donor event took place at CCS High School.  Several got swabbed, but just as important, students were stopping by that weren’t quite 18 yet to register.  When they turn 18, they will get information sent to them on how to become part of the registry. “I wanted to volunteer at this event because I learned about it when we had a community service project we had to do.  I’m in community health care and this is very important to me,” said Ariadne Hodgson.  Left to Right: Back row:  Ln Alessi, (Vincenza’s mother), Jennifer Pinder and Rebecca Burk-Sciallo, event organizers and teachers.  Front Row: Students Ariadne Hodgson, 12th grade and Malachi Sciallo, 11th grade, volunteers.
CCS grad’s blood disorder stymies doctors

CCS grad’s blood disorder stymies doctors as family perseveres

(Editors note: Our January 13 edition included an update on Vincenza Alessi, the 2012 CCS graduate who had a bone marrow transplant that didn’t take.  This week, we bring you up to date on her condition and urge you to get tested as a bone marrow transplant participant. See ‘How to Help’ below for specifics.)

By Tara Barnwell

“We brought Vincenza home to Cooperstown from Columbia Hospital in New York City about a month ago,” said Ln Alessi, Vincenza’s mother.  “Her only option left is to have a second bone marrow transplant.  We brought her home to strengthen her emotional, physical and psychological health.  She must get stronger in all of those categories in order to have that second transplant.”

Since coming home to Cooperstown, the Alessi family goes to Bassett Medical Centers Oncology department three to five days a week, depending on Vincenza’s hemoglobin and platelet counts.  “We spend several hours at the center just for the transfusion, then another half-hour to make sure she doesn’t have a reaction.”

A normal platelet count is between 150,000 and 450,000. Vincenza’s is 2.

A normal hemoglobin count is between 12 and 15 for women. Vincenza’s is 4.5.

“These transfusions are supposed to increase blood counts so she can live; the cells carry oxygen to her system,” Ln said. “After the transfusions, Vincenza’s cells are not retaining the oxygen like they are supposed to. Anything below 5.2 on the hemoglobin count is considered dangerous.  A 4.5 is extremely dangerous.”

“She is tired all of the time, she has very little energy,” she said. “She has total body pain; everything hurts all of the time because of the low oxygen levels in her system.”

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