Erica Goldberg took steps against breast cancer as a biology teacher, a union member, and as a daughter last year.
"After seeing what my stepmother went through in her fight against breast cancer, I thought the least I could do was walk for a day," Goldberg said. Now she is hooked and the five-year member of the Eastchester Teachers Association already has Oct. 16 on her calendar for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at the Manhattanville College campus in Purchase.
"It was truly overwhelming to see how many of us were there," Goldberg said of last year's effort.
She was one of nearly 6,500 NYSUT walkers who raised more than $1 million in 2010 for cancer awareness, research and treatment.
NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira oversees the statewide union's efforts supporting the American Cancer Society. She will make strides through Albany's Washington Park. This year marks NYSUT's 10th year as a flagship sponsor of the non-competitive 5K walks at numerous sites across the state.
Neira urged all members to participate this fall.
"Given the major cuts to health care, and especially womens' health care this year, we need to walk with even more determination," Neira said. Each year she speaks about how every dollar raised — NYSUT hit the $1 million mark for the fourth year in a row — helps the cancer society develop better treatments for all cancers and increase awareness for early detection.
"Each year I meet women and men whose lives have been saved because of early detection, or who have benefited from the society's recovery programs," Neira said. "It's a privilege to share the day with survivors, in honor of their fight, and in memory of those whose lives cancer has taken."