Family of L.I. cancer victim raises $36,000 for research

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Brothers and friends of kidney cancer victim Vincent Viscuse raised nearly $40,000 for kidney cancer

Vincent Viscuse liked to do things big.

So when his brothers and friends from a local Odd Fellows lodge on Long Island decided to raise money for kidney cancer research in his honor after he died of the disease, they went large too — and raised nearly $40,000.

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Vincent Viscuse (l., with his brother Keith) died of kidney cancer in August 2016, at the age of 38.

(Courtesy of Keith Viscuse)

There was a gala event with a band, a raffle that ran out of tickets and a fund-raising website that blew past its original goal in a matter of weeks.

“If he took you to dinner you were eating steak, not McDonalds,” retired NYPD Detective Mark Valencia, 53, said of Viscuse. “He always went big.”

“He was a strong, strong kid,” he added. “I’ve never seen anybody fight like he did.”

In 2013, Viscuse was diagnosed with stage four renal cell carcinoma kidney cancer.

The soccer-loving real estate agent from Bethpage, L.I., fought a three-and-a-half year battle with the disease. He died in August 2016 at the age of 38.

The loss left a hole in the hearts of many, especially his three younger brothers.

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At a Mets game (from left to right): Greg McGovern, Rich Funcion, Vincent Viscuse, Keith Viscuse, Brian Valente (back, in blue), Sean Geary (back, hat backwards), Anthony Viscuse and Michael Viscuse (father).

(Courtesy of Keith Viscuse)

Keith Viscuse, 30, along with his siblings and Valencia, decided to honor the man they all knew as Vinny with a fund-raiser for the Kidney Cancer Association.

“He was just a real genuine guy, a regular guy, but very passionate,” Keith Viscuse said of his eldest brother.

The group, all members of a local chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, started a webpage with a goal of $10,000 — they raised $16,000.

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From left: Anthony Viscuse, Michael Viscuse, Giana Viscuse, Vincent Viscuse and Keith Viscuse. The family raised $36,000 for kidney cancer research.

(Courtesy of Keith Viscuse)

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows began in 18th century England and today is an international fraternity of lodges devoted to charitable projects.

The group honoring Viscuse organized a gala in June that they expected to draw 100 people. More than 220 showed up.

“It was a great night,” said Keith Viscuse, who works in human resources for the MTA. “It was very emotional. I couldn’t believe how much support and love (there was), and it kind of showed you how many people’s lives he touched during his short time here.”

The event, which featured live music, raffles and prizes, pulled in more than $20,000.

The group plans to hand over $36,000 to the Kidney Cancer Association on Thursday when a representative visits the Odd Fellows Mineola Pacific Lodge.

Viscuse’s own big heart was on display in 2011 when he spoke to the Daily News about donating $100 after thieves swiped a jug of cash raised by the family of a 5-year-old boy fighting cancer.

“I couldn’t believe that people in this day and age would do something like that,” Viscuse told The News. “What did they get away with, a couple bucks?”

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"He truly was the type of person who put others first," said Keith Viscuse (left), seen with Vincent Viscuse, Anthony Viscuse and Michael Viscuse.

(Courtesy of Keith Viscuse)

The family of little Mikey Weinstein, a Queens kid fighting spinal cancer, was raising the money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“He truly was the type of person who put others first,” Keith Viscuse said of his brother. “He put others first and he donated. It’s come full circle.”

Family of L.I. cancer victim raises $36,000 for research

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Article Family of L.I. cancer victim raises $36,000 for research compiled by www.nydailynews.com