October 17, 2011

Making Strides walkers raise awareness through October

Source:  NYSUT Communications
Caption: Breast cancer survivor Regina McCormack (left) of the Albany Public School Teachers' Association chats with NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira at the Making Strides walk in Albany. Read Regina's story at the NYSUT blog. Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

UPDATE: Oct. 17, 2011

Step by step, NYSUT members across the state raised awareness and funds to fight all kinds of cancers.

The Oct. 16 weekend is the largest for the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events.

"Let's walk with confidence that each of us makes a difference," NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira told the 15,000 walkers at the Albany event in Washington Park.

Other walks were held in Albion, Wappingers Falls, Central Valley, Jamestown, Long Island, New York City, Utica and Westchester.

A large part of the American Cancer Society's efforts are NYSUT teams. NYSUT members and locals are striving to match $1 million in donations for the fifth year in a row."

Previous walks were held in Binghamton, Buffalo; Waterloo; Washington County; Watertown, Syracuse; and Rochester. Events continue with a walk in Queensbury Oct. 23.

UPDATE: Oct. 4, 2011

kaneEleven years ago, Nathena Kain watched televised news reports about Binghamton's streets turning pink.

Unable to work as she recovered from a mastectomy and chemotherapy she recalled, "I was so inspired watching all of those people together, it really helped me." She vowed then to be part of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk the next year. Little did Nathena know that 10 years ago her statewide union would join the American Cancer Society's efforts to raise funds and awareness to fight cancer by becoming a flagship sponsor of the annual walks.

A proud member of the Bainbridge-Guildford Teachers Association, Kain is a reading specialist at Greenlawn Elementary School. On Oct. 2 of this year, she wore the proud title of survivor.

"I am here for all those people who might be like I was: laying on the couch, so sick it hurt to move. "Or maybe for whatever other reasons, they can not be here," Kain said from Recreation Park in Binghamton.

Kain joined 3,600 walkers in Binghamton as well as 10,000 in Buffalo; 500 in Waterloo; 400 in Washington County; 5,000 in Syracuse; and 8,700 in Rochester - all at Strides events Oct. 2. Events continue throughout the month.

NYSUT members and locals are striving to match $1 million in donations for the fifth year in a row.

Cancer survivors Kathy Zarzeczny, left, and April Matson, from BOCESTA, Orleans-Niagara BOCES, in the crowd of 10,000 walkers in Buffalo on Sunday.

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