GALLERY Sunday, September 30 9:00am- noon James Baird State Park in Pleasant Valley, NY About Walk for Hope Come and join us for Miles of Hope’s oldest event: 2017 Miles of Hope Hudson Valley Community
Sunday, September 30
James Baird State Park in Pleasant Valley, NY
About Walk for Hope
Come and join us for Miles of Hope’s oldest event: 2017 Miles of Hope Hudson Valley Community Walk for Breast Cancer! Our first Walk in 2003 was created to bring awareness to the need for breast cancer support programs in our region. To this day, Miles of Hope is the only Breast Cancer Foundation where all of the money raised stays in the Hudson Valley. This money directly funds support services and outreach to our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. The Walk is not only a fundraiser, but a gathering of survivors, family members and caregivers. It attracts hundreds of people every fall who walk in honor of, in memory of and in support of friends and loved ones. Each year we honor an individual who has helped us help those affected by breast cancer.
Our 2017 Honorees
We are proud and honored to announce that stellar Miles of Hope volunteers and breast cancer survivors June Kimbark and Lori Heneka are the 2017 Miles of Hope Community Walk for Breast Cancer Honorees!
June and Lori along with Walk Chairman, Rachel Ross, were ‘chemo sisters’ five years ago when all were going through treatment at Vassar Brothers Medical Center for breast cancer.
June is a Registered Nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) @ Vassar Brothers Medical Center She has been at VBMC for 21+ years. She and Dave are the proud parents of Brian and Sean and recently celebrated Brian’s wedding.
In June’s words:
“I was diagnosed January 2012 with Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 2-3, Estrogen (+) and endured 16 chemotherapy treatments, followed by a partial mastectomy, followed by 6-1/2 weeks of radiation daily. I continued to work through all but the first 4 chemo treatments. All treatments and surgery were done at the Dyson Center for Cancer Care @ VBMC. My treatment TEAM was AMAZING. Special thanks to Dr. Schaeffer-Cutillo, Dr. Kelleher and Sara Winterleitner, NP.
Life since diagnosis has been challenging with endless Dr. appointments and scans; medications that cause side effects such as pain and intense hot flashes; Tamoxifen (anti-estrogen) daily. It’s been worth it though. I get to see my sons grow. I recently was able to dance with my eldest son at his wedding, something I was afraid I would not get the opportunity to do 5 years ago when I was diagnosed.
My husband, friends and family were my support during treatment(s) and continue to be to this day. I met some amazing people along my journey including Rachel Ross and Lori Heneka. We call ourselves the “chemo sisters”. We went through it all together and supported each other along the way. We started out as strangers who shared a bond like no other. I am so thankful for the love and support of all of these people. They were my strength when I was weak.
I recently became a member of the Miles of Hope Committee. Miles of Hope is an amazing organization that funds programs that provide valuable resources to people affected by breast cancer and their families. Whether it’s a physical, emotional or financial problem Miles of Hope will help. This is why I participate in fundraisers for Miles of Hope such as the yearly walks, the Dragon Boat Race, Silhouette of a Woman fashion show, sip & paint and raffles. I am proud to be a part of this amazing Team.”
In Lori’s words:
Some people know me as Lori, others know me as Lorraine. I was born and raised in the town of Poughkeepsie and now live in LaGrange. For college, I stayed local and earned both a B.S. and MBA in Business Administration from Marist College.
I’m employed at Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, where I’ve worked for 32 years and am currently the Lending Quality Control Officer. I am active in local bowling organizations – secretary/treasurer of my bowling league; director on the Hudson Valley USBC board; secretary/treasurer of the Mid Hudson Valley Women’s 600 Bowling Club. I’ve also been on the Board of Abilities First since 2010, currently serving as Secretary.
I began bowling at age 10, and still love the game! It’s a family sport, and I bowl in a league and tournaments with my parents, my brother and my niece. I struggled with bowling while going through my treatments, some weeks only able to bowl one game. Because I wasn’t as strong, I had to change to a lighter bowling ball, and my average is lower than what it used to be, but I’m still able to do my favorite sport. My family and bowling friends encouraged me to focus on the fact that I could keep doing something I enjoyed and not focus on the score.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2012 – the lump was found during an annual routine exam. I did self-exams, but never found it. I told myself it probably wasn’t anything to worry about. The next month was a whirlwind. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I had a mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, MRI, genetic testing, echocardiogram and PET scan – all to learn the diagnosis was breast cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes–Her2 positive, progesterone positive, estrogen positive. How could this happen to me? What had I done wrong? The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was tell my family the news. I felt so many emotions at the same time – mad, sad, afraid of the unknown. My paternal grandmother had breast cancer in the early 1960’s and had a mastectomy. She passed away in 2009 at almost 91 years old – and the cancer never returned. I know she was an angel watching over me and praying as I went through my journey, encouraging me to keep positive and stay strong. My family and friends were my rock through this journey. Their on-going support and encouragement, whether a visit, a phone call, a card, a text, running an errand for me or bringing me take-out dinner was tremendous. I couldn’t have gotten through this journey without them. I’ve been lucky enough to have my mother live close by and she’s been with me at every treatment and appointment right from the start. Thank you everyone!!
I was treated at the Dyson Center at Vassar Brothers Medical Center by the most amazing team of doctors and nurses. The first person I met with was Nurse Practitioner Sarah Winterleitner with her amazing personality! She was made for this career. She put me at ease and explained all the ‘medical stuff’ in terms I understood. “Let’s go”, I remember saying. “Let’s do what it takes to beat this thing.” Dr. Julia Schaefer-Cutillo knew the right chemo recipe to significantly shrink the tumors. And Dr. Angela Keleher’s surgical skills removed any remaining cancer! Starting in February 2012 and for the next year, my life consisted of 6 chemo treatments followed by Neulasta injections, 16 herceptin treatments, surgery (partial mastectomy and lymph node dissection), 33 radiation treatments, therapy and 12 more herceptin treatments–all while still working. I was always tired and achy from these treatments. I got tired of being tired. But all with the positive result of being CANCER FREE! Cathy Varunok – thanks for all the exercises and for giving me the OK to go back to bowling!! The team of nurses at the chemo center – Maria, Laurie, Kim and Emma – always had smiles that brightened all those Wednesday treatment days. Everyone at treatment openly discussed their diagnosis and treatments and we comforted each other that everything would be fine. I remember being greeted as soon as I walked into the chemo room on day one by Erin, who introduced me to everyone in the room and calmed my nerves. We tagged ourselves as the “Wednesday Group”, a title that stuck with the doctors, nurses and staff. We will always remember and miss them. Through this, I met two of the most wonderful women at chemo…..Rachel Ross and June Kimbark – my ‘chemo sisters’. We met during what had to be the hardest time of each of our lives and just hit it off. We were on the same schedules, and knowing they would be there every Wednesday made treatment days so much more bearable. We supported each other on good days and bad days. We even celebrated in 2013 with a photo shoot spraying pink champagne!! Sharing this honor from Miles of Hope with these wonderful women, and the fact that each of us is 5-years cancer free this year, makes this an even more amazing day!!!
I’ve always been a proponent of supporting breast cancer research and organizations – little did I know it would affect me one day. Miles of Hope is a fabulous organization that I learned about during my treatments. Providing financial help to ease the burden of day to day family life for women so they can focus on their health and recovery – amazing! Support services to help cancer patients feel better about themselves. I’ve participated in many events to support Miles of Hope – I even learned how to paddle a Dragon Boat – knowing that the money raised stays right here in our local community. The right support makes all the difference in fighting and winning the cancer battle.
Through this journey, I learned I can be scared but brave. I can be strong and overcome adversity. I am a fighter. It’s OK to ask for help. I’ve had a chance to share my story and inspire others facing this challenge. But most of all………..I AM A SURVIVOR!!!
To all survivors – congratulations!! To anyone going through treatment – stay positive, stay strong and have faith – and you will one day be at this walk celebrating your 5-year cancer free anniversary!
Get your teams ready! Oil your strollers! Update your Contacts List! There will be prizes for:
- Team with the Most Walkers
- Team which Raises the Most Money
- Individual who Raises the Most Money
(Sunday) 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
James Baird State Park