Oct. 15, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A fundraiser has been launched by friends of a well-known Sunnyside man who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Nikki Joyce and Tali Custer created a GoFundMe Monday for Shane Kenny who was told that he had testicular cancer in September and has been undergoing treatment. They officially launched the page Wednesday at noon.
Kenny, a 27-year-old Irish immigrant affectionately known as “Big Shane” due to his height, has worked at Ida’s Nearabout Bar and Restaurant, located at 43-13 Queens Blvd., since 2018.
He also co-owns an ice-cream business called “Big Shane’s Ice Cream.”
The page has brought in more than $32,000 in less than day. Joyce and Custer have surpassed their initial target of $30,000, with 500 people donating sums ranging from $10 to $1,000.
“We had no idea that we would smash the goal in 24 hours, absolutely brilliant!” Joyce told the Queens Post. “We just wanted to do something to lift his spirits and relieve the pressure.”
The funds are going toward Kenny’s medical bills, living expenses and travel costs for his parents to come to the U.S. and help him with his care.
Kenny’s parents live in Ireland and are working with the American Embassy to get a special travel visa to enter the U.S., according to Joyce.
Travel into the US is currently banned due to the coronavirus but his parents are seeking an exemption under the circumstances. His parents hope to arrive before Christmas, Joyce said.
Joyce and Custer said that Kenny is an affable person and well-liked among Sunnyside residents.
“If you know Big Shane, then you know his gentle giant nature,” the pair wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“You know his big belly laugh, his Irish hospitality, his generosity and friendship. The next 6 months are not going to be easy, but they don’t call him Big Shane for nothing!”
Kenny undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumor last month, according to the GoFundMe page.
After the tumor was removed, doctors told Kenny the cancer had spread into his lymph nodes, his lower abdomen and smaller spots were detected in his lungs. He was told he had Stage 3 cancer.
Kenny was then sent to the Oncology Department at Mount Sinai on Oct. 5 for 12 weeks of chemotherapy treatment.
Joyce said that Kenny’s treatment consists of chemotherapy for 8 hours per day on Mondays through Friday for one week. He is then given two week’s rest and must repeat the cycle three more times.
She said that Kenny has remained positive and the outpouring of support he has received through the fundraiser has boosted his morale.
“He is really overwhelmed with the support and it has really lifted him,” Joyce said.
She said that Kenny has a close-knit group of friends that have been taking him to the hospital and helping him with other chores.
The admiration for Kenny was made clear under the fundraiser’s comments section.
“Shane is a fantastic person, full of life, and always has a smile for you. Praying for Shane to make a full recovery,” wrote one donor.
Those looking to make a contribution to the fundraiser can do so by clicking on the link here.
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Known best as master of ice cream during the day and slinger of drinks behind the bar at night, Big Shane was diagnosed with Stage 3 Testicular Cancer and underwent surgery to remove the tumor in September 2020. At the age of 27, he is now undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Mount Sinai in efforts to fight off the disease. Big Shane’s NYC Family and Friends are asking for support to get him through this tough time since he will be out of action for the foreseeable future. This fundraiser will give him the relief he needs to focus completely on his recovery. For more details and updates of Big Shane’s journey go to: https://gofundme.com/f/big-shane-cancer-campaign Link in bio #bigshanecancercampaign