Article by Newsday’s Alexi Knock
Emileigh Gaeta shot a glance at her younger sister as she stood on stage to receive her high school diploma. For the past two years, she has helped raise her two younger siblings and said she finds it hard to believe she will have to leave them when she goes out of state for school in the fall.
Growing up, Gaeta was always the cheerleader and dancer who could count on her mom to be her No. 1 fan. On March 2, 2010, Gaeta’s mother Joanne Gaeta died at age 50 from a heart arrhythmia.
“I’ve been forced to grow up fast and do things like pick a college without any help,” said Gaeta, 18, of Massapequa Park. “Senior year it hit me hard, but I couldn’t have asked for better support from my fellow students at Kellenberg.”
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Photo credit: Alexi Knock