Holy Cross Students to Hold Fundraiser for Deaf Teen who Lost Battle with Cancer

Frisbees for Fernely Tournament to be held this Saturday, Nov. 12

The American Sign Language Club and the Cures for Kids Club at the College of the Holy Cross will remember and honor Fernely Acosta (July 17, 1994 – November 29, 2010), with a Frisbee tournament on Sat., November 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In the midst of health problems including asthma and hearing loss, Fernely was always a happy, smiling child. Fernely was a gifted student, scoring exceptionally well on the science MCAS test. He also loved sports, especially baseball and football.

During a visit to the hospital on February 23, 2010, doctors discovered several cancerous masses in his abdomen, carcinoma of unknown origin, which is extremely rare in a teenager. Over the next couple of months the doctors realized the cancer had spread. Fernely underwent surgery in July to remove the largest, most damaging tumors. In October, his family was told there was nothing more the doctors could do and Fernely was not expected to live past July. His strength and the love of his family kept him alive until November. “He lived with pride, strength and love until the very last moment,” says his mother Berkys.

Suzanne Wallace ’11, former co-chair of the American Sign Language Club and fellow student Cynthia Rivas ’13, used to meet with Fernley to sign on a weekly basis through Community-Based Learning (CBL) in connection with her ASL class. After Fernley passed away in November, Wallace wanted to do something special for him and asked this year’s co-chair Kelsey Cappetta ’12 to organize an event in order to help his family raise money for a tombstone. “I knew this was something important to her [Wallace], so I gladly offered to do what I could,” Capetta explains. 

All of Fernely’s loved ones will be at the tournament, including his mother, who will be speaking. Everyone is welcome to join the Holy Cross organizations on the Hart Lawn to play Frisbee: $10 for a team of five players. There will be baked goods for purchase and Berkys will raffle off her famous flan at the event!

To donate or register, please contact Judy Fask at jfask@holycross.edu or at 508-793-3344 (voice phone) or 508 -62-1171 (video phone).