The second annual Ken Zebrowski Memorial Walk takes place on Saturday, May 12 at Congers Lake Memorial Park. Former New York State Assemblyman Kenneth Peter Zebrowski passed away in March 2007 at the age of 61 from the Hepatitis C Virus. The longtime public servant contracted the disease in 1973 from blood transfusions received during an 18-hour operation.
Zebrowski, who spent over 30 years serving the people of Rockland County and New York State, was not diagnosed with Hepatitis C until 1996. His family has established a fund in his name to support Hepatitis C research, encourage testing, and provide resources for those suffering from the virus’ devastating effects.
His wife, Linda Zebrowski, commented, “Hepatitis C is a silent killer. Many patients do not show symptoms for twenty years. During that time, the disease causes irreparable damage to the liver. Educating people and ensuring they are tested is critical.”
Zebrowski’s son, Ken, the current Assemblyman for the 94th District, attended Hepatitis C Awareness Day in Albany in March and learned of new treatment options.
“Unfortunately, a large percentage of those infected are unaware and are not getting the timely treatment they need to arrest the virus," he said. "It has always been our goal to bring this disease out of the shadows and encourage testing so that everyone has access to a cure.”
The event kicks off at 9 a.m. and features a walking route that is 2.7 miles long and is wheelchair and stroller accessible. The entrance fee is $20 for individuals and $30 for families.
Vertex Pharmaceutical is the primary sponsor and may have onsite testing available. Other sponsors and supporters include Provident Bank; Braunfotel & Frendel, Attorneys at Law; Ronnie Horn, Mary & Paul Adler; Miele Sanitation;O’Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins, LLP; Duke of Oil & Tune; Rand Commercial Services; Gerard Damiani; Rocco’s Italian Cuisine, and Al & Tillie Magnatta. More information is available at www.kenzebrowskimemorialfund.org.
Hepatitis C is four times more common than HIV and approximately 4,000,000 individuals in the United States are infected. Of that number, 3,000,000 are unaware they are have contracted the virus.