Family Gives Personal Account of Help Given by Support Connection

marci-werner(Published by the Northern Westchester Examiner)

By Rick Pezzullo, Northern Westchester Examiner. Photos courtesy of the Werner family.

A few months before she died in 2012 from breast cancer, Marci Werner expressed her gratitude for the help she and her family received from Support Connection in a fundraising appeal to friends in advance of that year’s annual Support-A-Walk at FDR State Park in Yorktown.

“As I continue to fight Support Connection continues to be there every step of the way,” she wrote. “They have been monumental in their support of not only me but Howard (her husband) and Jacob (her son). Support Connection has supported me since I was first diagnosed with cancer 31 months ago (in 2010). They listen, they call, did I say they listen?”

“This organization doesn’t raise money for cancer research. While that is important too, they are the people that support the woman and her family with life and hope and understanding of what lies ahead in our lives dealing with living with cancer,” she continued. “They rely completely on fundraising and grants to help any woman needing their services.”

Werner noted a few small ways Support Connection staff made her struggle more bearable was sending Jacob a baseball basket on the last day of school for supporting his mom and arranging to get her a wheelchair so she could enjoy attending the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens.

Howard Werner said a close friend and neighbor recommended that they contact Support Connection when Marci was first diagnosed and “we have been better for it ever since.”

“One of the first interactions that Marci had was when she was connected to another woman who was in basically the same situation as us.  A young mom with a young child.  Marci talked for about two hours on the phone with that woman…I still don’t know who she is.  That conversation created a temporary sense of calm with the diagnosis, Marci felt that she was not alone in the fight, others had been there before her,” he explained in an email.

“For me, Support Connection was there as Marci said in her piece, to help with logistics like the wheel chair, but after she was gone they helped with disposing of all the medication and medical supplies that I just wanted out of the house,” he added. “I’m also comforted to know that if I had a request they would be there for me anytime.”

Over the last six years, Marci’s Team has raised $38,480 for Support Connection through the walk and the team will be there again in Marci’s memory on Sunday, October 2. Proceeds from the walk provide funding for Support Connection’s year-round breast and ovarian cancer free and confidential support services, which have helped thousands of people since the organization was founded 20 years ago.

Two years ago, Howard Werner noted about a dozen members of Empire State Crossfit North gym on Route 202 in Yorktown, who never met Marci, appeared at the walk to support Marci’s Team.

“The walk brings out the absolute best in our community,” he stated.

The Support-A-Walk was created by local residents to bring attention to the needs of people affected by breast and ovarian cancer. People travel from across the Hudson Valley and beyond to take part in this inspiring and uplifting community event. In 2015, there were more than 9,000 participants.

Participants of all ages complete a 3-mile walk, often in honor of loved ones – a celebration of life and a tribute to those who are affected by breast and ovarian cancer. There is a Survivor’s Welcome Area where volunteers greet and welcome cancer survivors. Along the Walk path, walkers are encouraged and cheered by local bands, cheerleaders and other community groups. Families, friends, co-workers and teams of walkers are invited to walk together. Individuals are also welcome to participate.

Donations are accepted by check, cash, and online at the Support Connection website. Supporters can raise funds by creating personal online fundraising pages to ask friends and family for donations. Messages of support, celebration or commemoration can be displayed on along the Walk path by purchasing Tribute Signs for $50 each.

To learn more about the Annual Support-A-Walk, contact Support Connection: 914-962-6402 or

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