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Our Inspiration

Lauri Strauss - 1957-1984


Gone Too Soon, But Never Forgotten.


Having grown up in Port Washington, Lauri Strauss was a brilliant, beautiful and loving person who died of leukemia nearly 30 years ago at the young age of 26. Hers was a short battle with this horrible illness. She passed seven months to the date of being diagnosed. Thirty years ago, there were far fewer treatments and cures than exist today. Still, leukemia and other allied cancers are particularly tough to cure.

 

 

Several years after Lauri passed away, her parents Evelyn and Herb Strauss formed the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation (LSLF). Among several events the Foundation runs each year to raise money for research for leukemia and other allied blood cancers, is the LSLF Concert.

 

Celebrating its 23rd year in 2013, this highly anticipated annual concert has taken place in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, with a lineup of performers that are a literal who’s who of Broadway talent. These wonderful performers give their personal time to make the evening the great success it has been for so many years.

 

The Foundation has raised millions of dollars for research to find a cure for this horrific illness and other allied cancers that strike people of all ages and, in many cases, has proven to be incurable. LSLF also supports marrow transplants, a viable cure for many patients.

 

Lauri would be very proud that her name is being used to do so much good for so many people. The LSLF Ride for Research Bike Tour committee is very proud as well to be working towards raising even more money to help fight cancer.

 

Just two years before Lauri passed away or about a year before she was stricken with leukemia, she wrote a very inspirational poem. Click here to read her beautiful verses…feeling her heart and soul in her words.

 

Laura Ann Wilgosz-Intintoli - 1955-2009

 

How My Tireless Work for the Cure Began.

 

In September 2001 while most of the world was reeling after the World Trade Center and other terrorist attacks, my wife Laura Ann and I were experiencing our own nightmare. For some time prior to September 11, Laura had been feeling tired and weak, and just generally not feeling well. So we scheduled her for testing. Soon afterwards, she was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which was and still is an incurable blood cancer.

 

Laura Ann immediately started chemotherapy and radiation treatments for her cancer. Upon completion of rounds of chemo, she was prepped and readied for an Autologous stem cell transplant, which she had in April of 2002. After the surgery, we thought she was clear of the cancer. But 17 months later, we learned it was too good to be true. The cancer was back. Many more years of fighting this terrible disease with more chemo, radiation, tests, etc ensued.

 

On April 14, 2009, Laura Ann succumbed to the disease that invaded our lives. Although there is still no cure for this disease, over the period of time she was ill, there were many breakthroughs.

 

Lauri Strauss and I were the same age and went through our primary school years together in Port Washington. Hearing of her passing years after graduating was very sad for me. Upon purchasing Port Washington Cyclery in 2011 (renamed Port Washington Bicycles), I knew I wanted to become involved in the Port Washington community where I grew up, so I reconnected with the Strauss family about conducting a charity event together.

 

Because I have been so involved in cancer charity work, the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation (LSLF) was a perfect match. I look forward to helping LSLF with many initiatives as they provide so many wonderful programs towards finding a cure for these dreaded diseases.

 

Like the Strauss family, Laura Ann was also very involved in Port Washington while we both lived here. Laura Ann was, not only an original member of the Port Washington Fire Medic Company, she was also President. Laura Ann also worked at St. Francis Hospital, teaching the new incoming members of Fire Medics. She also taught in their community outreach program, giving CPR instructions, babysitting safety classes, and AED use; just a few of her many talents.

 

Ralph Intintoli
Widower of Laura Ann
Owner of Port Washington Bicycles and Fitness Equipment

 

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