Naugatuck rallies around local man stricken with cancer


Ashleen Poyton

Naugatuck Patch

Nailah Lewis, Staff Reporter

Over the summer, local Naugatuck District employee, Mike Yablonski, 56, was diagnosed with Lyme disease and prescribed the common antibiotics. Told that he would soon be fine, Yablonski went off on a family vacation with his wife and two kids. 

Gradually, his health began to take a turn for the worse. He was, then, diagnosed with stage 4 Burkitt Lymphoma

Once admitted into New Haven Hospital, he remained there for the entirety of August whilst given extensive chemotherapy treatment.

Mike Yablonski, nicknamed “Yabby”, has worked with the Naugatuck School District as a custodian for over 25 years. Impacting each person he worked with for the better, many people have rallied together to help support Mike including his family, friends, and strangers.

Mike is described as the “true definition of a family man,” said his wife, Sarah Yablonski.

 “My children and I know that we can count on him for anything and everything. He is a hard-working, honest, and loyal man.”

Using the hashtag “YabbyStrong”, the Yablonski family, with the help of the Naugatuck district, worked together to help fund through various fundraisers including a ziti dinner and a GoFundMe page created by Ashleen, the sister of Sarah Yablonski, which raised almost $10,500.

The community has also expressed their compassion to the family by having “meals delivered to our home, our dogs being walked when we are gone on long stretches and multiple fundraisers done on our behalf. Not to mention the over the top emotional support, especially for our children,” states Mrs. Yablonski during an interview. 

Through this assistance, the family has been able to accumulate over $10,000 to help pay for medical bills and provide for the family while both Mr. and Mrs. Yablonski are on leave. 

“I’ve been humbled by all the support from the community, friends, and strangers,” said Mike Yablonski in response.