YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. - In February, Jennifer Ponzini was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 46. In the months since, she has completed 12 rounds of chemotherapy, and recently started radiation as well. All of this while continuing to work full time. But that hasn’t stopped her from going full-speed ahead to put together a successful fundraising campaign for the 25th Annual Support-A-Walk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer.
The Support-A-Walk, presented by Support Connection, Inc., will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6, at FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights. The event was founded by local residents to bring attention to the needs of people affected by breast and ovarian cancer. People travel from across the Hudson Valley and beyond to take part in this community event. Proceeds fund Support Connection’s year-round free support services and programs for people affected by breast and ovarian cancer.
Participants of all ages complete a 3-mile walk, often in honor of loved ones. There’s a Survivor’s Welcome Area where volunteers greet and welcome cancer survivors. Along the Walk path, walkers are encouraged and cheered by local bands, cheerleaders and other community groups. Even those who can’t attend can participate or donate. And, supporters can raise funds like Ponzini by creating personal online fundraising pages where friends and family can donate.
Ponzini, who grew up in Yorktown but has been a Carmel resident since 1988, is raising funds and participating in the Walk for the first time this year. She created a team called “Jen’s Rack Pack.”
Many people have rallied to help; 15 different people have joined her team so far, and together they have already almost doubled their fundraising goal.
“I have a great group of friends and co-workers who have been my support network for the last six months,” Ponzini said. “The biggest of those supporters has been my fiancé, Phil Walko, who asked me to marry him while I was undergoing my chemo treatments. They’re all participating in the Walk to support me and my fight against breast cancer, and to raise funds for Support Connection. I am very lucky to have each one of them in my life.”
You can view the team’s fundraising page here at tinyurl.com/JensRackPack.
Ponzini said she looks forward to attending at the Walk, where she knows she’ll be in the company of so many other cancer survivors and supporters.
“A very good friend of mine, who fought this battle herself, told me her best advice is to surround yourself with people who love you, support you, and are a positive influence,” she said. “Cancer can be a very lonely disease, and those who have been through it know exactly what I am talking about.”
Ponzini is happy to share her personal story. She hopes it will to inspire others to become involved.
“I am walking in memory of those who lost their fight, in honor of those who continue to fight, and for myself to show cancer that I am still strong, I am still here, and I am definitely not alone,” she said. “Please consider joining the Walk to help fund the free services Support Connection provides to those who are fighting the hardest battle of their lives, so they know that they are not alone.
To learn more about the Support-A-Walk, or to make a donation, visit supportconnection.org/support-a-walk
or call 914-962-6402.
Article provided by Support Connection