Bensonhurst native Genevieve Collura is known as a unicorn to her friends, family and doctors.
She got the nickname after she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Adenocarcinoma with carcinoid features of the ovary, making her one of five people diagnosed with this type of cancer. Her doctors called her a unicorn due to the rarity of the cancer.
On Saturday, August 6, a benefit concert was thrown at the Steeplechase Beer Garden in Coney Island to celebrate Collura and her fight, and to raise money for cancer research on similar tumors.
“I wanted to raise more awareness for this cancer no one really knows about,” she said. A year ago, Collura spent her time going from doctor to doctor until they found the tumor in her ovary.
Through live music, food and dancing, $2,000 was raised by Collura and Jerry Farley — a longtime organizer of live music at Steeplechase and its predecessor, Peggy O’Neill’s, with all of the proceeds going to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
“While dealing with this, I could never find a support group that I felt like I could fit in with,” she said. “My goal is to raise money for more research for this kind of cancer.”
Collura was overwhelmed with the turnout at the benefit, and is grateful for Farley’s help and for the contributions of everyone who attended. She says she will continue to spread awareness about this rare cancer and throw more fundraisers in the near future.
“It’s a weird and scary transition. One minute, everything is normal and then you have to stop everything,” said Collura. “I’ve seen people sitting in waiting rooms by themselves with no support and I want to make a difference.”
Musical acts included Justin For Nothing, Vinny Hooliganz, Sean Coleman & The Quasars, Etcetera and A Great Day To Die.
Those who wish to donate can still do so online.