Santino's Crusade for a Cancer-Free World 2024

Santino's Crusade for a Cancer-Free World

Santino Carnevale has found himself within the cancer world the entirety of his life. In March 2006, just 10 days after Santino’s parents, Michael and Brooke Carnevale, discovered they were expecting a child, his father was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma — a rare head and neck cancer. In 2015, at only 9 years old, Santino made the decision to stand up and do something in the fight against cancer. At such a young age, he already possessed a desire to help others going through similar battles. Santino began by organizing a lemonade stand and bake sale. Santino intended to honor his father, as well as his grandfather, the late Franklin County Sheriff Jim Karnes, who passed away when Santino was 4 years old from pancreatic cancer.

The first year of the lemonade stand, Santino’s efforts raised an astounding $5,000 and he has never looked back. Santino formed his initiative known as “Santino’s Crusade for a Cancer-Free World”. In addition to the annual lemonade stand and bake sale, Santino hosts an Ohio State Tailgate party in downtown West Jefferson, OH. His family, friends and classmates have joined him in his efforts.

Santino is widely known throughout The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) as one of the youngest adolescents to establish a fund and is often referred to as “Santino, the Cancer Crusader". Santino created the Head and Neck Cancer Strategic Support Fund at the OSUCCC – James in his beloved father’s honor in 2015. Unfortunately, Michael succumbed to his long battle with cancer in the fall of 2016, but that hasn’t slowed Santino’s efforts in the least.

Proceeds raised from Santino’s initiatives have exceeded over $205,000 for the Head and Neck Cancer Strategic support fund! In addition, Santino was the recipient of the 2018 Jefferson Award, to recognize individuals who do extraordinary things in their community without expecting anything in return. To date, Santino is the youngest person in history to receive the prestigious Jefferson Award. Santino also serves as a member of The James Ambassadors Society at the OSUCCC – James and is the youngest member inducted into the society. He is an invaluable member in the community and an inspiration to all.

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