The Putnam Examiner

Callahan Remembered for Living Life to the Fullest

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Sean Callahan, a young man that provided great hope to the Mahopac community, succumbed to cancer last weekend, leaving family, friends, and residents remembering the brave teen who lived life enthusiastically until the very end.

Sean died peacefully surrounded by family last Saturday, ending a battle with cancer that lasted most of his young life. He was 12-years-old. While tragic, his father Dan noted the hope and joy Sean brought out in everyone around him and stressed he wants people to think of the positivity Sean brought to the world.

“Everything about him was hopeful,” Dan Callahan said. “He was always about positives, even when things were very negative.”

Despite Sean’s medical struggles, he continued to exemplify what it was like to live life to the fullest.

A student at Mahopac Middle School, Sean was active in his community and known by many. He participated in Mahopac Sports Association football, lacrosse and wrestling, as well as CYO basketball. This past season, his football team won the championship.

Through the “Friends of Jaclyn” organization that helps children with brain tumors, Sean become part of the Army Black Knights football team at West Point. Given the number 18, he was named most valuable player during the team’s spring game.

“Our entire program is saddened to hear about the passing of our teammate, Sean Callahan,” Army West Point head football coach Jeff Monken said in a statement. “Sean was the toughest young man you would ever want to meet. He taught our players and staff so much about overcoming adversity, about working hard and about enjoying life. He became part of the Army football brotherhood. We are grateful we had the opportunity to spend time with Sean and his terrific family and we will value the lessons he taught us. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with Sean’s family at this terribly difficult time.”

Sean also signed a one-day contract with the New York Yankees last season, getting the opportunity to meet stars like former Yanks shortstop Derek Jeter.

The big brother to five siblings, Sean wrote a book published “Don’t Give Up-Advice From a Ten Year Old Cancer Survivor” that is meant to give younger cancer patients hope.

“If there are any (particular) memories I have of him, it’s him as a big brother,” Dan said. “He loved being a big brother to his little sisters and little brother.”

An integral part of Relay For Life, Sean and his team “Sean’s Soldiers” raised more than $100,000, becoming the youngest and highest donation earning team for Relay For Life globally this year.

Sean leaves behind his parents Dan and Janine, as well as his brother and sisters Michael, Hope, Keira, Abigail and Kaitlyn.

Visiting hours are today (Tuesday, Aug. 25) from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. at St. John The Evangelist Church in Mahopac in the main church. A Funeral Mass is Wednesday at 1 p.m. at St. John’s. Private cremation will follow.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Sean may be made to Sean’s Soldiers, Inc. P.O. Box 47, Jefferson Valley, NY 10535. Sean’s Soldiers is a Not for Profit organization, started by Sean, with the mission of helping children hospitalized with cancer.

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