Giving Back

Mahopac Man Uses Business to Fundraise for Ailing Infant

Aaliyah Beganovic Credits:

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Stephen McNamara has a healthy seven-month-old son. His wife’s cousin in Fergus Falls, Minn. is not so lucky, and as her seven-month-old daughter, Aaliyah Beganovic, lives day to day in wait of a lifesaving liver transplant, McNamara can only fight back the tears at the thought of facing such a tragedy.

“I don’t know what I’d do,” he said. So, rather than letting his imagination get the better of him, the Mahopac resident quickly realized that doing nothing was not an option.

“When I saw a picture of this little girl, I was like, I’ve got to do something,” he said. “So, owning a gym, I knew I could use the connections I have.”

Sign Up for E-News

His gym, Crossfit Somers X, held a fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 26. The gym is located at 54 Miller Road in Baldwin Place.

Just after she was born, Aaliyah was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile ducts in the liver are crippled or broken.

“The wiring that brings the bile in isn’t working so food cannot be broken down,” said McNamara. As a result, doctors have done bypass surgery into the small intestine, but that’s only a patch. “All that does is buy time.”

That doesn’t leave much in the interim, either.

“She’s on a feeding tube and a ton of medication,” he said.

Unfortunately, the uncertainty doesn’t even leave Amanda and Almir Beganovic the peace of staying put.

“Everyday is a guessing game,” McNamara said. “It’s always to and from the hospital.”

Currently, that’s where the expense is and the only load that can be alleviated.

“So far we have raised about $2,000 and we’re aiming for $10,000,” McNamara said.

This leaves the fundraiser at Crossfit Somerx X in search of sponsors with Aaliyah in mind.

“She’s been alive for seven months so each person will do seven exercises for 30 reps,” he said.

Otherwise, it’s really a race against the clock, and because the bile ducts are the problem, a partial liver donation from her mother just doesn’t work.

“She needs the whole package,” he said.

If good fortune befalls and a match arrives, the cost comes in between $25,000 and half-million dollars. Fortunately, a conduit has emerged that won’t keep the goodwill contained.  

The Crossfit in Fergus Falls is holding their own fundraiser and so are the gyms in Peekskill, Bedford Hills and Hawthorne. The Yorktown PBA and area businesses are also raising money.

It doesn’t end there, either.

“People all over the country who don’t even know the family are raising money,” McNamara said.

Money, of course, does not ensure an outcome but what it does purchase cannot be priced, according to McNamara.

“It means the world to them,” he said.

Anyone who would still like to donate can visit

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


God Is Just! Schneiderman Is Out!

Whenever you doubt that God is just, remember last Monday. That is the day New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned.

As you know, I have had him in my sights for a long time. He has squandered our tax dollars with more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Plus, his lawsuits against Big Oil and trying to nullify our double jeopardy laws. Most will go nowhere as ...

Environmentalists Get Their Clock Cleaned

If you noticed, I have refrained from getting involved in all the recent Trump headlines. I really do not have anything to add to this discussion. What everyone is now hearing about possible corruption within the Justice Department, readers of this column knew months to a year ago. For me, it is finally validation of keeping you, my readers, on the cutting edge.

What is important to remember ...

It Wasn’t About the Economy or Jobs

Soon after President Trump was “crowned” by the Electoral College in November 2016, I wrote a column about Putnam County voters that garnered some attention—both good and bad. Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of suitable jobs, but to the overarching fear ...

Bias in Media, in Me, in You

While listening to an interview with a voter on my car radio, I thought I had excess ear wax that obstructed my hearing. The voter (whose name is Bruce) said this about one of the qualifications that a Senate or House candidate must have to earn his vote: “I don’t want anyone with ideas. We have enough of those already.”

I’m a journalist and have been one my entire ...

Southern Discomfort: ‘Crimes of the Heart’

Editor’s Note: The author of this review is a board member of Axial Theatre.

Siblings cackling over their grandpappy’s coma.

A 24-year-old bride who says she shot and wounded her wealthy, hot-shot husband because she doesn’t like his looks (and doesn’t much care for the sound of his voice, either).

A 27-year-old aspiring singer-actress who puts on airs that ...

Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the ...

Pretty in Raspberry Pink

“I got a pedicure today,” I said to my husband, showing off my freshly painted toes glimmering from beneath my flip flops.  “What do you think?”

“They’re orange,” he said. 

“They’re not orange,” I corrected him. “They’re cantaloupe.” He blinked a couple of times trying to process this irrelevant piece of ...