When Support Connection’s Annual Support-A-Walk takes place on Sunday, October 4th, people will be walking in communities far and wide to bring attention to the needs of people affected by breast and ovarian cancer, and to raise funds for the organization’s year-round breast and ovarian cancer support services.
The event is Support Connection’s most important annual fundraiser. This year it is more important than ever, because cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic. Support Connection’s services have continued uninterrupted since the onset of COVID-19, helping cancer patients and survivors cope with increased isolation and the many new challenges resulting from an overburdened health care system.
For this year’s Support-A-Walk, in lieu of gathering by the thousands in the park, Support Connection created the theme “Walk With Us, Wherever You Are.” People nationwide reach out to the organization to utilize their services, and now people nationwide can be part of the Support-A-Walk.
Some longtime Walk participants have already begun fundraising and making plans to walk in their local areas. These are just a few of their stories:
Wendy and Michael Giuliano (former NY residents) will walk in Chesapeake, VA. They walk every year in honor and memory of Wendy’s dear friend Julie who died of ovarian cancer. In past years, they have walked in NY with family and friends. This year members of Team Julie will be walking in a number of different communities. Wendy says: “Most of my team is still in NY, so they will be walking in different areas of Westchester and Putnam My son lives in CT, so I’ve asked him to do a walk there. I am so grateful for everything Support Connection does.”
Linda Smith will walk in Hopewell Junction, NY with family and friends. Last year they walked together wearing t-shirts and carrying signs to honor Linda, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2019. Linda also walks in gratitude to her cousin Larissa who died of metastatic breast cancer when she was only 30 years old. Linda says: “It was because of Larissa that I promised myself I would never skip another mammogram or sonogram. I am lucky. My life was saved because of my cousin. There is an indescribable fear that comes with being a ‘cancer patient.’ But I’m so fortunate to be a survivor! I am walking to raise money for people who are suffering as well. I’m incredibly thankful for the support I’ve received thus far; now it’s my turn to pay it forward!”
Diane Buschel will walk in her neighborhood in Yorktown, NY. Her daughters will walk in their own towns in Connecticut and New Jersey, and her sister will walk in Florida. Diane is a longtime Support Connection volunteer who has participated in the Support-A-Walk for many years with family and friends. She says: “I walk because Support Connection has made a difference in so many people’s lives. It truly is an extraordinary organization. We’re all so happy to help!”
Carrie Tropea will walk in Hopewell Junction, NY with her husband, daughter, brother and brother-in-law. Other members of her Team “Friends of Caroline” will walk in Yorktown Heights, Carmel and Yonkers, NY, and in Virginia. Carrie was in high school when she created the team in honor of her mom who was coping with breast cancer. After her mom died in 2007, the team continued to walk every year. Carrie says: “We walked first in honor of my mom Caroline Puppo, and then in memory of this brave woman who fought the ‘beast’ for 12 years! She was, and still is, my hero. We walk to continue her memory and to honor others who are battling this horrible disease. This year the Walk looks a little different, but it’s just as important as it’s always been!”
Salli Figler has walked for years in memory of her friend Mary who died of breast cancer. This year she’ll walk along the Hudson River in Croton, NY. Salli says: “2020 has been a challenge in so many ways for all of us. It is especially challenging for not-for-profit agencies who continue to do the good work they do to help those in need. Support Connection has continued to help breast and ovarian cancer patients and their families, and they continue to need our help. I am walking again this year to raise money and bring more awareness that we have not won the battle against cancer. My list of those I am celebrating and honoring continues to grow instead of shrink. Every little step we each take helps.”
Support Connection does not receive funds from any national cancer organizations including Relay for Life, Susan G. Komen or Making Strides. By participating in or donating to the Support-A-Walk, community members can make a positive difference in the lives of women and families facing the challenges of a breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis.
ABOUT SUPPORT CONNECTION: Support Connection’s mission is to provide emotional, social and educational support services to women, their families and friends affected by breast and ovarian cancer. Services include peer counseling, support groups, wellness and educational programs, referral and information services, and a toll-free cancer information and support hotline (800-532-4290.)