NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The color of the Empire State Building can help further a cause and raise awareness, but what happens when the landmark says no?

Advocates for children with cancer said they’re shocked the building refused to take up their cause for a second year in a row.

“One morning she came limping into our room and our lives were changed forever,” Brian Donnelly told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

Just shy of her fifth birthday, Julianna Donnelly came to her parents partially paralyzed.

They rushed her to the emergency room and received a grave diagnosis.

“A CAT scan and an MRI revealed a mass at the base of her brain stem,” Donnelly said.

It was March 2012, Julianna had an incurable and fast moving brain cancer.

After a brave battle during which her parents said she never complained, Donnelly died at 6-and-a-half years old.

“I think because of her I’m here today trying to advocate now for future children, for one day cancer to become obsolete,” Doris Donnelly said.

The Donnellys said they are convinced getting to that goal might be easier with a simple flick of a single switch on the Empire State Building.

“I don’t think it’s much to ask, I truly don’t,” Brian said.

The very same landmark that celebrates in lights all kinds of causes and pop culture happening will not go gold to promote awareness of an spur fundraising for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place every September.

“For the second year in a row we have been denied,” Brian said.

“But if it was half a day or an hour, it would be something that shows they do care,” Doris said.

The Empire State Realty Trust told CBS2:

“The Empire State Building’s lights have shined for World Cancer Day, For Breast Cancer Awareness, for Blood Cancer Research, and Pediatric Cancer Treatment and Research with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, with which the building recently joined a multiyear partnership. Unfortunately we cannot light for all organizations which apply.”

“We are not going to stop until that Empire State Building goes gold,” Brian said.

The Donnellys promise to persevere, to honor Julianna’s memory, and for the many children with cancer who need miracles.



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