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Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Overpeck Park raises more than $270,000

Photo Credit: above
Photo Credit: above

SHOUT OUT: Another brisk but sunny fall day drew 100 teams with over 1,800 participants who raised more than a quarter-million dollars during today’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Overpeck Park.

One of them, Ladies in Blue Fighting in Pink — comprised of female police officers and others — this year adopted the motto: “Cancer is a word, not a sentence” ( photo, above ).

Their team emerged four years ago as a gesture of support by Washington Township Officer Heather Castronova and Old Tappan Officer Katie Weaver. They quickly signed up fellow Officers Shane Broglia of the Ridgewood PD, Rachel Morgan and Christine Udis of the Paramus department, and Edgewater Officer Christina Rae.

Participating were female officers from, among other departments: Hillsdale, River Vale, Englewood, Woodcliff Lake, Parsippany, Newark, the Bergen County Police Department and the Rutgers Newark campus police, as well as their counterparts from New York — with some retirees included.

Some have faced issues of their own, as have their mothers, aunts or grandmothers.

Together, they hope to educate and empower both men and women to live healthy lives and reduce their cancer risks through regular screening that could find trouble “when it is easiest to treat,” Castronova said.

“I believe that one day breast cancer will never steal another year from anyone’s life – and we will live in a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays,” she said. “That’s why I’m walking.”

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a fundraiser, an awareness booster and a celebration of those who’ve survived, as participants and supporters share the determination to make this breast cancer’s last century — one literal step at a time.

Millions of people in more than 300 communities nationwide will take those steps — the largest network of its kind. The include survivors, caregivers and others touched by the disease.

Some today thought of Gordon “Gordy” Klatt, M.D., founder of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life event, who died earlier this month at 71 after battling stomach cancer.

Others carried the photos and names of loved ones lost and those who’ve survived.

Castronova said the funds raised go toward “finding cures and promising new treatments through funding and conducting research,” as well as into lobbying efforts geared toward “working with lawmakers to help all women get access to screenings and care.”

It will help uninsured women get better access to mammograms, provide free rides for cancer patients to and from treatments – and, of course, fund more intensive research, she said.

“I’m so happy that all of us are coming together like this for something so good,” Castronova told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “It isn’t often that we get a chance to do something like this.”

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