Support Connection is proud to introduce the Walk Ambassadors for our 2016 Support-A-Walk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer. Walk Ambassadors are cancer survivors who represent the spirit and purpose of this uplifting annual event.
To learn how more about our Annual Support-A-Walk contact us: 914-962-6402 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Crossley: Jane was diagnosed with Stage 2 ovarian cancer in February 2012 after months of confusing and painful symptoms. She lost 15 pounds, saw several doctors and had numerous tests. Finally, after undergoing exploratory surgery, her diagnosis was confirmed and she embarked on a difficult course of treatment. Her wife Valerie was by her side through it all, but it was challenging, especially since both of their families are overseas. Lucky for them, their neighbor is a Peer Counselor at Support Connection, so they knew where to turn.
Jane reached out to that neighbor: “What she shared with me was so uplifting and courageous. She helped us understand the fear of it all and gave us such hope. She made me feel like we would get through this.” Next Jane spoke with another Peer Counselor by phone: “We spoke for over an hour. I had started losing my hair and it was very upsetting. I could talk to her about it. She understood because she’d gone through it too. She listened to all of my rantings and ravings, and told me how it had been for her. It was so helpful.” Jane also benefited from other Support Connection programs, like yoga, and an educational teleconference on ovarian cancer: “It was a great opportunity to ask questions to a renowned specialist and to hear questions from other survivors.”
Jane attended her 1st Support-A-Walk in 2012 not long after completing chemo: “I wasn’t sure I could handle the walking but I’m so glad I went. I was shocked to see so many people. I felt overwhelmed with love. I felt so connected, and so normal because I was with so many people who’d been through what I’d been through. I felt empowered and at peace.” As a result, the Walk is now a must every year for Jane: “You see how many people are there for the same reasons and you see so clearly that you’re not alone. Everyone looks at you with such understanding. It’s very powerful.”
When asked to be a Walk Ambassador, Jane enthusiastically agreed: “I greatly respect and admire what Support Connection does and has done for me. I wish to be involved and to share my experiences so others may learn all about it.”
Jane is clear about why people should donate and raise funds for the Walk: “Support Connection is unique. It provides constant, invaluable support, in so many ways, all for free. Their team works tirelessly to ensure that those who need comfort, encouragement and advice receive it with the deepest compassion and understanding. Support Connection receives no financial assistance from any national cancer organizations, yet provides all of their support services without any restrictions. They need our support to continue doing this.”
Dottie McHugh: Dottie was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2005. She was 38 years old and had two young children: her daughter was 6 and her son was 4. Needless to say, it was an overwhelming situation. Dottie’s husband Jim and their large extended family was there for her every step of the way. But that April, when she learned about Support Connection from a co-worker, she decided to reach out.
Soon after that, Dottie began participating in Support Connection’s monthly Young Women’s Support Group. It became a lifeline for her: “You want to live your life as normally as possible. At the support group, I could share my experiences and my raw emotions with other women who’d been there. I felt empowered, and privileged to hear their stories. It gave me knowledge about what was ahead.”
Dottie attended the support group for several years. She also relied on other services from Support Connection: “The staff is amazing. I never met anyone who didn’t have a smile on their face or a reassuring word. They help you through things you wouldn’t even think about… huge things that make a difference.”
Dottie attended her first Support-A-Walk in 2005 and hasn’t missed a year since. She’s joined by her husband Jim, her children, siblings, in-laws, nieces & nephews, and neighbors. Their Team, “Ann’s Avengers,” is named in honor of Dottie’s beloved mother-in-law who died of breast cancer 6 months before Dottie’s diagnosis. Dottie has had a number of other family members affected by breast cancer. She walks and raises funds in honor of all of them, as well as “all the courageous women dealing with this disease.” Last year, Dottie’s daughter Megan (now 17) helped out by enlisting her volleyball team, which raised more than $800.
Dottie is delighted to be a Walk Ambassador: “It gives me great pleasure to give back to an amazing organization I truly believe in and that played a major role in my mindset during my own battle with cancer. I hope to be a positive role model for other women facing this disease.” She encourages everyone to participate: “Raising funds or donating to the Support-A-Walk is a wonderful gift to all the women and families struggling with breast or ovarian cancer who will benefit from the many wonderful services Support Connection can provide them through generous donations.”