Article by Alexandra Taylor, Class of 2015:
In observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Kellenberg Cheerleading came out in force in their efforts to raise money for breast cancer research. Each year, Kellenberg Cheerleading teams participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation. According to the American Cancer Society, “every breast cancer walk and event is an incredible and inspiring opportunity to honor those who have battled breast cancer, raise awareness about what we can do to reduce our breast cancer risk, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with research, information, services, and access to mammograms for women who need them.” Their website noted that this year’s walk as a whole had 1,703 teams, 11,854 participants and has raised $1,923,453.16 to date. Cheerleaders were asked to give a minimum donation to walk the five miles at Jones Beach. Varsity captain Kirsten Lomacchio said, “We don’t just do it because we have to– we do it because we want to. Everyone is always excited and we always have a good time.”
On a cold Sunday morning on October 19, Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity cheerleaders met at Kellenberg at 7:30 am. The cheerleaders came dressed in their Kellenberg warm ups and wore a pink and white cheer bow high in their hair to show support and raise awareness about what we can do together, to help end this disease forever. As we all got on the bus, we were cold and tired; but as soon as we pulled up to Jones Beach the energy of the thousands of people and sea of pink inspired us and made us want to get off the bus. Many people were there walking for a family member, a friend or just to support the fight against breast cancer. The walk takes place on the boardwalk of Jones Beach and the goal is to walk five miles. There are tons of vendors with food, clothes, and music all there to raise money for this cause. So many people are there to greet you and cheer everyone on. Our team’s participation in the walk supports the American Cancer Society, the leader in the fight to end breast cancer. Junior cheerleader Gabriella Taylor said, “The breast cancer walk is an inspiring event that I am so proud to be a part of. We look forward to it every year.” Today 1 out of 2 women and men newly diagnosed with breast cancer reach out to the American Cancer Society for help and support. The donations teams raise will enable investment in groundbreaking breast cancer research, free information and services for people facing breast cancer, and access to mammograms for those who need them. Senior cheerleader, Bianca Costanzo, added, “It is such an honor to be part of an amazing event that supports this cause. We are willing to do anything to help.”
The walk is especially important to me. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of my freshman year. Breast Cancer is a disease that not only affects the patient, but affects the entire family; and throughout the entire process, my mom never gave up on herself and we never gave up on her. She fought for her life which inspired me to be resilient, and look for ways to support the fight against breast cancer. Thankfully, with the help of talented doctors and surgeons, my mom is currently cancer free and doing very well. Although it was a long and challenging journey, my mom’s illness has made me stronger in my ability to overcome obstacles. I am so thankful and proud to be a part Kellenberg Cheerleading that supports this important challenge to end this disease.