Happening Survivors: Meet the Cancer Walk Ambassadors

Support Connection recently announced the selection of two inspirational Walk Ambassadors, cancer survivors who represent the spirit & purpose of the annual Support-A-Walk.  This annual event, now in it’s 18th year, brings attention to the needs of people affected by breast and ovarian cancer and to raise funds for Support Connection’s free, confidential services to those affected by these diseases.

Dana Boulanger (Lincolndale) and Brenda Maxwell (Fishkill), both cancer survivors and Support Connection volunteers, have been selected as the Ambassadors for this year’s Support-A-Walk for breast and ovarian cancer to be held on Oct. 7th at FDR State Park in Yorktown. For more info: www.supportconnection.org

Dana Boulanger of Lincolndale, Breast Cancer Survivor: Dana has participated in the Support-A-Walk since 2001, shortly after completing her treatments for breast cancer. She was 40 years old and a single mom when she discovered a lump in her breast that turned out to be cancer. Dana says it was a time filled with anxiety and fear. Her doctor suggested she contact Support Connection for emotional support. Dana made that call and found a support group which helped her tremendously as she faced difficult courses of chemotherapy and radiation. She also tried Support Connection’s yoga and meditation programs, and found them to be invaluable as she coped with the stress and life changes a cancer diagnosis brings. These experiences led Dana to learn all she could about nutrition and holistic approaches to health. As a result, she became a Co-Publisher of Natural Awakenings Magazine, Westchester and Putnam, which focuses on natural approaches to nutrition, fitness, creative expression, personal growth and sustainable living.

“I want to do everything I can to let people know how critical is it to raise funds to keep Support Connection and its programs running,” says Dana. “Emotional and spiritual support are so important to recovery from cancer, and so hard to find. The peer support offered by Support Connection is truly unique and incredibly valuable.”

Brenda Maxwell of Fishkill, Ovarian Cancer Survivor: Brenda was involved with Support Connection long before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010. A former Yorktown resident, Brenda began attending the Support-A-Walk the first or second year it was held. Initially she and other family members walked in honor of her mother who had ovarian cancer 30 years ago. Later, they also walked for two other family members who had breast cancer. So, after Brenda completed her own surgery for ovarian cancer, she knew where to call for support. She admits that making that first call was hard to do; with so many fears and emotions weighing her down, she burst into tears the minute she heard a voice on the other end. But she was immediately connected with a Support Connection Peer Counselors who offered comfort, reassurance and valuable information. That help continued as Brenda received an info packet a few days later and remained in touch with the counselors whenever she needed to.

“It’s so important to me to promote the Walk so Support Connection can continue the good work they do,” Brenda says. “Plus, since so many people don’t know much about ovarian cancer, I’m grateful for this chance to be that face, the person they can learn from.”

Join Dana and Brenda at the 18th Annual Support-A-Walk which will take place on Sunday, October 7, 2012 (rain or shine) at FDR Park, Route 202, Yorktown Heights, NY

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