WAYNE, NJ -- Susan G. Komen North Jersey, the Passaic County Department of Health, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders partnered to present the Women’s Wellness Expo, held at Passaic County Technical Institute. At the Expo, volunteers and speakers who have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer shared their personal stories, hope and inspiration with others fighting the disease.
“A diagnosis touches everyone differently, and their journeys are all very different,” said Kelly E. Nagle, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen North Jersey. “To see someone battling this so courageously and gracefully every day,” she continued, “it’s just a marvelous example of love and hope and motivation, and that speaks volumes for what we are trying to do in the community.”
Many volunteers who have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer often do not feel the term “survivor” accurately reflects their situation. Lois Solomon, who has been battling breast cancer for almost nine years, felt the same disconnect. “I’m not a survivor. I’m still fighting,” said Solomon.
“We wanted to make sure we were adequately representing this important group of people,” said Nagle, “and so we now call these courageous individuals ‘forever fighters’.”
The Women’s Wellness Expo featured free clinical breast exams, glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, HIV testing and BCAT cognitive screening. Medical professionals were on hand for presentations and informative sessions open to the public. The Expo also offered exercise, fitness advice and demonstrations, nutrition guidance, and entertainment for the whole family.
“Nobody wants to have cancer,” said Solomon, “but so many wonderful things have come from it. I’ve met the most wonderful people--all the people here at Komen.”