New York

Public School 307 Helping Dying Alumnus

Penelope Morales (on left) with friend

When someone is in need, Brooklyn comes to the rescue. At least that’s what Penelope Morales is hoping will, ultimately, happen. Morales, 27, grew up in the Farragut Houses and went to Public School 307.

Finding the Co-Pay

Battling leukemia,  she is now trying to pull together the co-payment that she needs for a life-saving bone marrow transplant.  Morales left Brooklyn in 2009 to live in Orlando, Florida for its milder climate.  She is supposed to have the operation in April, but she is having trouble finding the $6000 that she needs to pay UnitedHealthCare for the transplant. 

Commendably, she refused to go on Medicaid while living in New York, saying

“When I was in New York, the doctor told me to go on Medicaid. I was like ‘no.’ I work forty hours a week. I won’t let this stop me.”

Raising Money Together

Now, people from near and far are trying to help Morales to have a fighting chance.  Her relatives have started a nationwide call for assistance. As her mom, Marie Morales, frankly explains, “Without the operation, she is going to die.”

And this is where Public School 307 is stepping in. The cheerleading coach, Tracy Dickerson, who trained Penelope Morales, is having her current team pitch in.  As she said, “I haven’t been able to sleep. I keep thinking what I can do.”

They are joining the team to raise money for Morales. And they sure hope that it will be enough.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)