By Brian Marschhauser, The Yorktown News. The 20th Annual Support-A-Walk brought out thousands to FDR Park on Sunday to raise funds for Support Connection, a Yorktown-based non-profit that provides free and confidential services to people affected by breast and ovarian cancer, and their families.
The annual walk was co-founded two decades ago by Rich Adamski, who lost his wife, Myra, to breast cancer in 1994, and Nancy Heller, a 29-year breast cancer survivor. Heller recalls that only a few hundred attended the first walk, but has since grown into something bigger than she ever imagined.
“One of the most important things Support Connection does is to help people when they walk in the door or when they call and they have no idea what to do,” Heller said. “It gets their mind off of it and makes them feel like a real person again, and that’s what Support Connection does. It’s the personal touch, absolute personal touch, that we are able to provide and that’s what makes Support Connection so unique. Ninety-four cents out of a dollar go to the services. If you look it up anywhere, any cancer organization, you’ll never see those kinds of numbers.”
Judy Callahan, a walk ambassador, was diagnosed in 1998 and reached out to Support Connection shortly after.
“I had no idea what to expect,” Callahan said. “I had just had surgery and I couldn’t walk, but I could sit and I could listen and I could talk to people. When I got here I realized this is a place that I wanted to be and I am so glad that I found it. What I found was beyond words.”
Callahan said Support Connection played a crucial role in her recovery and encouraged recently diagnosed women to contact the organization.
“The people that you meet, the experiences, the friendships, the caring, the giving, the hope—it’s all there, and it’s all there for you,” she said. “Sixteen years ago I never thought I would be standing up here talking to you. I never thought I would be standing anywhere 16 years from then. So, there is hope. Those of you who are new, talk to people, because it is so worth your while.”