(Published by: Yorktown Somers Patch)
Support Connection, Inc. announces the selection of two Walk Ambassadors for our 19th Annual Support-A-Walk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer which will take place on Sunday, October 6, 2013 (rain or shine) at FDR Park, Route 202, Yorktown Heights, NY. This annual event is held to bring attention to the needs of people affected by breast and ovarian cancer and to raise funds for Support Connection’s free, confidential services to those affected by these diseases. The Ambassadors, who are cancer survivors, represent the spirit and purpose of the Support-A-Walk.
Lauren Novotny was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 when she was only 31, after noticing a lump in her breast. Remarkably, a close friend who was the same age had been diagnosed with breast cancer just months earlier. This friend encouraged Lauren to see a doctor about the lump, and they were there for each other through their treatments and recovery.
Nevertheless, Lauren felt the need for additional guidance and support: “Sometimes it’s hard to talk with the people who love you because they’re freaking out and so worried about you.” So, in July 2010, just prior to having a double mastectomy, Lauren contacted Support Connection. She immediately connected with a Peer Counselor on Support Connection’s staff, and found the help she needed. She says: “My counselor provides that extra outlet I need when I can’t talk to family or friends. The Peer Counselors know what it’s like, how emotional and stressful it is. They understand.”
Ginny Allison was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October 2011. In a strange twist of fate, her diagnosis came just weeks after she attended the Support-A-Walk with Lauren. It was the first Support-A-Walk for both of them; a group of friends and family participated in honor of Lauren’s battle, and Ginny is a close friend of Lauren’s dad.
Ginny’s diagnosis occurred because she began noticing changes in her body she couldn’t explain: she was bloated, her clothes no longer fit correctly, and she experienced increasing abdominal discomfort. She was admitted to the hospital for testing, and was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. She started immediately on a long and difficult course of chemotherapy.
Initially, Lauren contacted Support Connection on Ginny’s behalf to gain knowledge and information for her. By December, Ginny was speaking regularly with one of the Peer Counselors on Support Connection’s staff. She refers to her counselor as “my angel” and says “Support Connection is like having someone carry you on their back. I know there’s always someone I can call; it’s like calling a friend.”
Both Lauren and Ginny are delighted to be Ambassadors for this year’s Support-A-Walk. They are eager to spread the word about the wide variety of free support programs offered by Support Connection. Both women have utilized many of these services such as support groups, toll-free educational teleconferences, lectures on nutrition and other topics, yoga classes, and of course, one-on-one Peer Counseling.
Lauren says “I want to let people know about Support Connection, especially younger women who are diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. I want them to know there’s a program to help you that’s really personal. You call and right away, you speak to this person who knows and understands you; she’s with you from that point forward.”
Last year, Lauren organized a fundraising event to raise funds for the Walk; altogether she raised $1,800. She says “I want people to support the Walk because you know where your money is going; it’s going directly to help the women in need, the women living with cancer.”
Ginny agrees 100% and looks forward to fundraising for this year’s Walk. She is also eager to share her personal story. She says “If there’s one person I can inspire to ask for help, I want to do that. It’s hard to ask for help, and I want people to know there’s someplace they can go. Support Connection is giving the help to the people who need it; women living with breast and ovarian cancer need a place to turn to.”
Registration and donations are now being accepted for the Support-A-Walk. To learn more or to participate visit www.supportconnection.org or call 914-962-6402.
Ginny Allison and Lauren Novotny, both cancer survivors, have been selected as the Ambassadors for this year’s Support-A-Walk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer.