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Shining a light for Sweet Sally Sunshine

Sally’s sunshine is spreading, even at night.

Sally Kabel, the six-year-old Bay Ridge girl who died on Sept. 19 after bravely battling leukemia for most of her young life with a sunny, optimistic attitude that inspired everyone around her, was remembered at a candlelight vigil in Coney Island on Sept. 27.

The vigil, which took place on the Riegelmann Boardwalk at West 19th Street at sundown, drew a large crowd of residents from several Brooklyn neighborhoods who came to show love and support for Sally’s grieving parents, Matthew and Nicole.

Participants also vowed to continue to fight for a cure for childhood cancer.

The vigil took place on the same night as the Fifth Annual Lighting of the Parachute Jump, in which the landmark is lit in gold in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

ebrooklyn media/Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

The lighting ceremony was organized by the owners of Luna Park and by Councilmember Mark Treyger, a Democrat who represents Coney Island. Democratic Councilmember Justin Brannan, who represents Bay Ridge, where the Kabels are from, also helped put the vigil together.

“A truly moving community tribute and vigil for #SweetSallySunshine before lighting the famous Coney Island parachute jump gold for Sally and all those impacted by childhood cancer. We won’t give up until there’s a cure!” Brannan wrote on Twitter.

Sally Kabel, whose nickname was “Sweet Sally Sunshine,” was an inspirational figure to many of her Bay Ridge neighbors, who marveled at her courage and positive attitude as she underwent chemotherapy and other types of treatments.

She was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 10 months old.

Treyger said the candlelight vigil was meaningful because Sally Kabel helped unify people.

“Sally opened our hearts and brought our communities closer together. We are in this together for Sally and for all children,” he wrote on Twitter.

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