Popular walk ‘Makes Strides’ towards breast cancer cure

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BY SHAVANA ABRUZZO  |   Big-hearted New Yorkers raised nearly $6 million for the American Cancer Society in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk last year, bringing us one step closer to a cure.

We can all step up the action for walk 2014 at open spaces in all five boroughs on Oct. 19 at 11 am:

• Prospect Park at The Nethermead, Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard in Brooklyn; register at 8 am.

• Orchard Beach, One Orchard Beach Road in the Bronx; register at 10 am.

• Central Park at 72nd Street Bandshell, E. 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan; register at 8 am.

• Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Van Wyck Expressway and Grand Central Parkway in Queens; register at 8 am.

• Clove Lakes Park, 1150 Clove Rd. between Park Drive and Victory Boulevard on Staten Island; register at 10 am.

Community News Group will donate a portion of proceeds from this pink issue to the American Cancer Society to continue its good work. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer annual walk supports breast cancer research, offers free patient-caregiver services, provides in-depth cancer information, and supports the law movement working to give women the care they need. The fund-raiser also inspired 10 million walkers in more than 300 communities across the country to raise nearly $600 million for research, education, and treatment since its inception 30 years ago — and every penny counts!

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Cancer survivors and others breeze through the finish line at Central Park during last year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. American Cancer Society

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Cancer survivors and others breeze through the finish line at Central Park during last year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. American Cancer Society

“More walkers mean the next big breast cancer research breakthrough,” said Nancy Colt, the group’s community executive for New York City. “More walkers fund-raising mean more survivors who will celebrate more birthdays.”

One in every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to the American Cancer Society, whose cradle of support services includes transportation assistance to and from treatment, free lodging for patients traveling long distances for treatment, a 24-hour hotline with a trained cancer information specialist, and feel-better workshops for people undergoing debilitating, appearance-related side effects of treatment.

Bronx hotel worker Leslie Ossa, a breast and uterine cancer survivor, fell to pieces when chemotherapy made her lush, long hair fall out, but the American Cancer Society was there to help her regain her self esteem with free wigs, make-up, and individualized beauty tips.

“Cancer makes your body and skin change, and you look sick,” said Ossa, who plans to walk in memory of her friend, Jessica Lavonte who died of cancer last year. “The people at the American Cancer Society helped me realize that no matter what, I can still look good and feel good about myself.”

All of us can help make a difference between life and death this month, according to a woman who plans to lace up on Oct. 19.

“I will be walking so that my nieces and nephews won’t have to in the future,” said Bensonhurst survivor Annemarie Ruriani, who has been breast cancer-free for more than three years.

American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on Oct. 19 at 11 am, (800) 227–2345, www.makingstrideswalk.org.

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