MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Crissy Pagano-Hajkowski, a Mahopac High School graduate who had been fighting cancer for 14 years, passed away Sunday afternoon surrounded by her family and friends. She was 40.
She is survived by her husband, Jim; her mother, Chery; step-father David Tucker; father Ralph; stepmother, Janet; grandmother, Rachael; as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, and her dear nephew, Edward Roy Hajkowski.
She had worked as a veterinarian technician for several years at the Animal Hospital of Kent.
Hajkowski had been an active participant in the Relay for Life events in both Mahopac and Patterson and was well known throughout the Relay community in both towns. She had been a resident of Putnam Lake (Patterson) since 2002.
“She fought till the end and never gave up,” said Tracey Walsh, Relay for Life community manager.
Walsh said Hajkowski had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003 but more recently received a second diagnosis of an aggressive, advanced form of ovarian cancer which ended up taking her life.
“You would never know she was in so much pain,” Walsh said. “She was the one always leading the dancing and the Zumba. She was a force to be reckoned with.”
A GoFundMe page had been set up so that Hajkowski could go to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and have the surgery she needed, but she passed before that could happen.
“I got to know her when I was a [Relay for Life] volunteer,” Walsh said. “She was a ball of energy with a contagious laugh and became a shining star. She became part of the Relay’s planning committee and she was named chair. Not just honorary chair, she actually walked in the relay.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 27, at 10 a.m. at Holy Name of Mary Church, preceded by viewing of ashes from 9-10 a.m. at the church.
A Celebration of Life will take place at Four Brothers in Mahopac on Saturday, April 1, at 1 p.m. In Crissy’s memory, donations may be made to her Relay team, which will continue in her memory: Friends Helping Friends to Find a Cure, Relay for Life, Patterson, NY.