BAY RIDGE — Sunshine filled the House as Congressmember Max Rose honored the memory of Sally Kabel, affectionately known as Sweet Sally Sunshine, in a touching tribute he delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday, March 2.
Sally was a beacon of light in Bay Ridge during her short lifetime, and her memory lives on in the hearts of a community that loved her.
After hearing about the fifth annual Push Beyond Showcase in the Home Reporter, Rose attended the event and was moved by Sally and her family’s story. He wanted to honor her life on the House floor and was grateful to the Home Reporter in helping connect him with the family to make it possible.
Sally died on Sept. 19, 2018, following a nearly lifelong battle with leukemia and complications of the disease. Her death not only devastated her heartbroken family, but an entire community that had rallied behind her in her brave battle with cancer.
Sally’s mother and father, Nicole and Matt Kabel, have continued to keep their daughter’s memory alive by helping to raise awareness of pediatric cancer.
Rose, who represents parts of Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island, honored the beloved Brooklynite and the incredible legacy she has left behind.
“I rise today to honor the life of Sally Kabel, a young girl from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, who despite battling leukemia for most of her life, did so bravely and with a love of life that earned her the nickname ‘Sweet Sally Sunshine.’ Sally was adored, not just by her family, but by the entire Bay Ridge community who rallied behind her,” said Rose.
“Everyone came together to support her family, whether it was bringing meals, raising money or just giving them hugs on the street,” Rose said. “With that support, Sally was able to beat cancer, but the treatment so weakened her body that she passed away in September 2018, just a week after her sixth birthday. Although her time with us was far too short, she filled those six years with a lifetime of joy.”
Rose emphasized that the Kabels are helping other families going through the same struggle. “They’re advocating for childhood cancer awareness with the hopes that more research will lead to more humane and effective treatments for children,” said Rose.
“Sally was truly the peacemaker of Bay Ridge, bringing out the best in all of us. I ask my colleagues to join me today in honoring her memory,” he added.
Matt Kabel said that he and his wife were incredibly moved by the honor. “We want to thank our local congressman, Max Rose, for honoring Sally on the floor of the House of Representatives,” Kabel told this paper.
“Anybody who knew our little girl saw her unite the Bay Ridge community like no other. Sally brought people of all different beliefs and backgrounds together for a common good. We’re so moved that the congressman chose to honor her memory, and hope he’ll be an ally to childhood cancer families like ours in the future,” Kabel added.