“The team was so nice, and made me feel like one of the guys,” Zachary told the Herald after the game. “It’s something I’ll never forget. My favorite experience was walking out on the field with [Cosmos captain] Carlos Mendes, hearing all the fans cheering and doing the coin toss.”
On March 7, the Bernsteins posted the details of Zachary’s condition online, writing that “his functions are diminishing quickly.” The news of his death hit the Lynbrook school community hard. “It’s a very sad day for the Lynbrook community,” said Board of Education President Alicemarie Bresnihan.
“He’s been an inspiration to me,” said Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak. “I admire the whole family for their determination, their hope.”
Social workers were on hand at South and Waverly Park Elementary School, which Zachary attended until last June, to console students and staff members.
Several Cosmos players took to Twitter to offer their condolences to the Bernstein family. Hunter Freeman, a Cosmos defender, said his thoughts and prayers went out to Zachary and his family, and tweeted the hashtag “#CosmosCaptain4Life.”
In a posting on the Friends of Zachary Fund page, the Bernsteins thanked their family, friends and the Lynbrook community for their support. They concluded their message by saying, “Zachary will live on forever. Stay tuned.”