Memorial fundraiser honors asthmatic daughter

Published: Saturday, April 18, 2009
By Rachael Scarborough King Register Staff

GUILFORD — For Marlene DeSanto, her plans to honor her late daughter Tara with a day of yoga and education at the Mercy Center at Madison have been full of symbolism.

Tara, who died during an asthmatic attack two years ago, would have turned 50 Feb. 5. But because of the risk of inclement weather, DeSanto scheduled her fundraiser for April 25.

She is also hoping to have about 50 people participating in the event.

“If Tara was alive, her 50th birthday would have been quite a bash because she was exuberant, fun loving and she loved to have a full house,” DeSanto said.

DeSanto, a yoga teacher and Guilford resident, said the fundraiser will feature yoga techniques focused on breathing, since her daughter’s death was caused by a lung disease.

“Tara passed away suddenly — she had an asthmatic attack and died on the way to the hospital — so I am going to definitely emphasize the importance of breathing techniques (and) relaxation,” DeSanto said.

The day of events, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature two yoga sessions as well as talks from Judson Brewer, director of the Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic, and Bernie Siegel, a New Haven doctor and author who writes on the mind-body connection.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the American Lung Association. The cost for the day of activities is $85.

DeSanto said she chose to have a yoga-based event in part because of the benefits she found in yoga following her daughter’s death.

“I would like people to see what you can do if you put your mind to it,” she said. “Yoga makes you resilient. A lot of people don’t realize the power they have within them.”

DeSanto said there are still openings for the event. For more information, call 453-5360.

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