- Thousand of people gathered at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, early last Sunday morning for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
For them October 21st was about more than just a walk. It was a time to honor someone you love, celebrate with other survivors and connect with thousands from across the Hudson Valley who are dedicated to creating a world without cancer.
Honor Someone You Love
Each person has a unique and special reason for walking in the American Cancer Society Making Strides walk. Kendyl Voli, a sophomore at Ramapo College, walked with 30 of her sorority sisters of Sigma Sigma Sigma. The Eta Nu chapter has participated in the walk for the past five years. Voli’s motivation was her aunt, whom she lost about five years ago.
The SUNY New Paltz Swimming Team walked for the first time this year. Many wore the name of a loved one for whom they were walking in memory of on Sunday. Captain Anna Jakubek hopes this will be the start a tradition for the team.
SUNY Orange nursing students were a first time walk participants this year. One month ago, they organized, set a goal and on walk day had more than a dozen professors, students and parents who not only walked, but raised more than $4,000. “A lot of us will be graduating soon and we have seen the affects of this disease. We’re here to help raise funds and end this disease,” Donna Todd said.
Groups of men, some hand in hand with women, and others, who lost a mother or sister, could be seen in the crowd of 9,000, covered in pink. They remind everyone that more than likely, you’ve been affected by breast cancer in some way. “This walk empowers you,” one man said.
Celebrate With Other Survivors
Yessica Tlacoapa and her five siblings, all female, have been attending the event for three years. That’s how long their mom has been a breast cancer survivor.
“I was a senior in high school when we got the news. We were devastated.” she recalls. Now a senior in college, she couldn’t imagine her mom not being there to celebrate.
The group reports it raised $800, bringing their three-year total to about $3,500. They point to their shirts which read, “Hope - Faith - Strength - Believe.”
Not far away was Holly Lawrence, an eight year survivor. She has been walking since 2005 with the Middletown Cheerleaders she coaches.
23-year survivor Debbie Siovano was walking with Jay’s Deli Diva’s. Each survivor proved that a breast cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence.Connect With Thousands
Breast cancer touches the lives of Americans from every background and in every community across our country. Even though there have been great strides made in combating this disease, it is estimated that more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and tens of thousands are expected to lose their lives.
That’s why the Making Strides walk takes place during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an important time to remember and honor those we have lost, lend our strength to those who carry on the fight, and pledge to educate ourselves and our loved ones about this tragic disease.
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