October 2012 Issue
September 27, 2012

Celebrate those who fight cancer

Author: Betsy Sandberg
Source: NYSUT United

Miriam Longobardi of the Chappaqua
Congress of Teachers, a breast cancer
survivor, calls the annual Making Strides
Against Breast Cancer walks "empowering"
for entire communities. Last year, NYSUT
members raised $1,022,015 for the cause.
Phot by Maria R. Bastone.

The only reason Miriam Longobardi went for a mammogram 10 years ago was because her ob/gyn insisted.

"I thought I didn't have to get a baseline mammogram until I was 40 and I was only 35," said Longobardi, a member of the Chappaqua Congress of Teachers. "I have no history of cancer in my family and didn't fit into any of the risk areas."

Her doctor persisted. "When she said my insurance would cover it, then I decided why not," she said.

That mammogram found an extremely invasive type of breast cancer that had already spread to her lymph nodes. "I wouldn't have made it to 40."

That October she participated in her first Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, pushing her two girls in a double stroller. Now she's a team leader for her union and is proud NYSUT is a statewide sponsor of the American Cancer Society's efforts to raise awareness and funds to fight all cancers.

"Especially in education, everyone knows someone affected by cancer," she said. Participating in a Making Strides event is "one of the most empowering and moving events to be surrounded by this whole community of people celebrating those who fight cancer," she said.

From Jamestown Community College in western New York and across the state to Long Beach on Long Island, NYSUT locals will take steps and raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's largest fundraiser. Longobardi plans to join the walk at Manhattanville College in Purchase Oct. 21. Find a walk near you!