Baby Shawn, Niagara Falls boy battling brain cancer, makes it into book about Steph Curry

April 30, 2018

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Shawn Kennedy or Baby Shawn-  as he’s lovingly known throughout the community – just had an amazing vacation with his family. It’s miraculous, really. The little guy was diagnosed with DIPG – diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma at age 4. DIPG is an inoperable terminal tumor in the brain-stem. Doctors generally give the children 6 months to a year to live.

The 7-year-old has had 2 brainstem biopsies and 30 rounds of radiation. He is treated at St. Jude’s Hospital. 

Shawn, it seems, is always surrounded by loved ones. He is supported by his family, and the entire Niagara Falls community. He’s not alone.



Shawn loves sports- especially basketball – and superheroes.  He even got to meet his favorite player, Steph Curry.



In fact, Shawn even made it into the pages of a  new book, “The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry.” You can read a bit about how Curry has used his celebrity to help sick children – like Shawn. They write, “On February 24, 2016, before the Warriors took on host, Miami, Curry interrupted his pregame ritual to meet with Shaun (spelled in wrong, but that’s okay) Kennedy, a Niagara Falls, NY, native who is living with a rare brain cancer. The four-year-old got the shoes Curry warmed up in, with “keep being brave” written on them, and a conversation with the MVP. Curry obliged the request from his head coach, who had gotten an email about Kennedy.” Shawn’s mom, Nicole said it’s pretty cool to see this, “Yes I thought it was the neatest thing about the book.”




Nicole gave me an update on her little guy is doing, “Shawn is doing great. He had his last scan in February with a stable tumor. And his next one is in June. Shawn is just being Shawn. So blessed for that.”

Shawn has been receiving treatment at St. Jude’s Hospital for some time, now. He and his mom go back and forth on a regular basis. It’s difficult and draining – emotionally, physically, financially  – going back and forth to Memphis every 3 months for MRI exams and appointments, “I absolutely love St. Jude’s. If more people only knew how amazing that hospital truly is and how they focus on the kids and families.”

Please help the family if you can. They should be thinking about Shawn – and his fight and not financial issues. Here is a link to the family’s Gofundme page.


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






Submit a Comment