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Liverpool family focusing on the positive

Each child, though, is a blessing.

"The things they've gone through are twice as hard as the things we've gone through," Peter said.

That's why the family tries each day to focus on the positive -- a phrase that's almost a mantra for them.

This month, the Curkendalls will be looking forward to an event that is doing just that. An evening at Caf (c) 407, 407 Tulip St. in the village of Liverpool, will be dedicated to helping Tray and his family as they prepare for a life-changing journey to New York City, which could happen at any time.

The benefit, slated for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday Sept. 11, will include a silent auction, upscale desserts and a raffle featuring generous donations from the community. For $10 per person, or $30 per family, attendees will have an opportunity to listen to live music, have a cup of coffee and devour finger desserts.

As a special treat, the Hung Gar Kung Fu school in Syracuse, led by Sharif Bey, will be performing for the benefit. They will be doing a demonstration and possibly a traditional Chinese Lion dance. Most importantly, Tray will become an honorary member.

"Tray loves kung fu but cannot participate until he has the transplant," Peter said.

All proceeds from the benefit will go to the Curkendall family to help with travel expenses, accommodations and keep the family afloat in Renee and Tray's absence during the three-month, or more, stay downstate.

Their stay in the Big Apple will include biopsies, medication changes and regular monitoring to be sure Tray's new heart is not rejected by his body.

Friends and family from across the state, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are expected to travel to Liverpool for the benefit and to show their love and support for Tray.

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