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Breast Cancer Survivors Celebrate

Journalist Irene Virag to lead discussion at upcoming event; panelists include breast cancer survivors from Long Island.

Pulitzer Prize winner Irene Virag is a journalist and a breast cancer survivor. Credit: Courtesy Photo
Pulitzer Prize winner Irene Virag is a journalist and a breast cancer survivor. Credit: Courtesy Photo

As many Long Islanders well know, breast cancer knows no boundaries, crossing all sorts of socio-economic lines and backgrounds. Its survivors, however, will have plenty to share and celebrate at the annual Breast Cancer Celebration of Survivorship on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6-9 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom at Adelphi University in Garden City.

This year’s event features panelists who include an artist, a husband and wife in their 80s, a woman in the fashion industry, a bank manager, a former teacher, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.  Sponsored by the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program, the event is free and open to the public.

Panelists include:

  • Matuschka of New York City is an artist, activist, author and Pulitzer Prize nominee whose shocking ground breaking self-portrait, “Beauty Out of Damage,” appeared on the cover of The New York Times magazine showing her bare chest with one breast amputated. LIFE magazine included in it 100 Photographs That Changed the World.
  •  Robin Healy of Huntington is a volunteer with the Adelphi Breast Cancer Program providing emotional support to people with breast cancer. She is a retired special education teacher.
  •  LaKesha Jackson of Amityville is the co-founder of the non-profit Pink SHOES (Strength, Hope, Optimism, Endurance, Survival) whose mission is to educate young women about breast cancer. She is a production coordinator in the fashion industry
  •  Millie Jones of East Meadow is branch assistant manager at the First National Bank of Long Island and chair of the board of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce.
  • Joseph and Frances Mercolino of Melville, married for over 60 years, were both diagnosed with breast cancer, he in 2005 and she in 2006. They are supporters of the Dianne Mercolino Toan Endowment for Cancer Research, established in memory of their daughter.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Irene Virag, a garden writer and also a breast cancer survivor, will moderate the panel.

Reservations are required; call 516-877-4325.

Organizers say those worried about breast cancer should call the hotline for help at 800-877-8077, and know are not alone.

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