Striding the Boardwalk against breast cancer: Group returns to Coney for annual walk

Striding the Boardwalk against breast cancer: Group returns to Coney for annual walk
American Cancer Society

For a second year, they’ll walk the Boardwalk toward a world without breast cancer.

Participants in the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Brooklyn Walk edition, will take to the iconic Riegelmann Boardwalk on Oct. 21, continuing a 16-year tradition of uniting supporters and survivors.

The event’s return to the seaside venue is a testament to the community’s care for the cause, according to an ACS spokeswoman.

“Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is an opportunity for thousands of people from all over Brooklyn to not only fight back against breast cancer, but also form a massive community of support with one another,” said Ashley Engelman. “Women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer meet longtime survivors. Caregivers connect with other caregivers. Doctors walk alongside their patients. Everyone is uniting for a single, important cause: eradicating breast cancer.”

The non-competitive event aims to raise awareness as well as funds for breast-cancer prevention, research, and patient services. Some 25,000 Brooklyn walkers raised nearly $750,000 at last year’s event, all of which went towards putting services in place for breast-cancer patients, Engelman said.

“The money raised from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer supports critical breast cancer research so that we can continue to find better treatments,” she said.

That mission was endorsed by two breast-cancer survivors who walked the walk on the Boardwalk last year, one of whom said 2017 marked her dozenth appearance at the event.

“I have been walking with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for 12 years. I started participating in the walk because I felt they needed to find a cure,” said Doris Taylor, a Brooklyn resident for 35 years. “The feeling of walking along with other survivors lets me know that I am blessed, and gives me a feeling of gratitude. I am a two-time survivor with double mastectomy and reconstruction.”

Another two-time breast cancer survivor, Cynthia Jean, has been walking Making Strides walks for four years, and said she continues to do participate because she has personally benefitted from research advancements.

“Four years ago, they didn’t have an effective medication for my type of cancer, HER2+,” Jean said. “But today I’m on Perjeta, which I take once every three weeks and [which] targets those cancer cells. The day of the walk is a day of unity, strength, hope and courage.”

Engelman said that everyone is welcome at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, but encouraged people to register online in advance, and to make donations and fund-raise. She noted that the American Cancer Society “is the largest funder of cancer research outside of the federal government, and we’ve played a role in nearly every major breast cancer research breakthrough in modern history.”

This year’s walk will start on the Boardwalk under the Parachute Jump, and travel up to Coney Island Avenue and back down to the finish line at Stillwell Avenue. Bicycles, carts, scooters and other vehicles will not be allowed on the walk route; strollers and wheelchairs are welcome.

Walk the walk at Making Strides Brooklyn at MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue between W. 17th and W. 19th streets). Oct. 21, on-site registration starts at 8 am; walk starts at 10 am. Register in advance online at www.makingstrideswalk.org.

Reach James Harney at (718) 260-2529 or e-mail him at jharney@cnglocal.com.
Blushing for a cause: We’re pink this October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.