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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Thousands Walk To Find A Cure For Cancer

    Colorful tee shirts, balloons and smiles lined the streets ofStonyBrookVillagelast Sunday as more than 4,500 people came together in the tenth annual ‘Walk for Beauty’hellip;In a Beautiful Place.’ In memory of those lost to breast and prostate cancer, survivors of those diseases walked alongside supporters in an effort to raise money for research into possible cures.

    ‘Over $500,000 has been raised over the past ten years,’ said Catherine McWilliams, assistant director of community relations atUniversityHospital, and co-chair of the event. ‘It has been the combination of community and the university that makes this walk so successful.’

    The Walk began atStonyBrookVillageCenter,Main Streeton the Harbor. Participants followed a scenic route alongStonyBrookHarbor, through the Village and past historic landmarks, including the Stony Brook Grist Mill and the Three Village Inn.

    This year a portion of the donations will go towards aBreastImagingCenter, which will enable doctors to diagnose tumors ‘on-the-spot.” Gloria Rocchio, another co-chair for the event said that she and other organizers took time to break down the total donations, and carefully planned exactly where the money would go.

    The event was originally formed out of a pilot project known as ‘The Unique Boutique,’ started in 1994. The program gave cancer patients who lacked insurance money gift certificates to several stores inStonyBrookVillage. These stores donated their goods and services, helping patients buy wigs, clothing, or prosthesis.’

    In 1996,StonyBrookUniversityHospitaland the Ward Melville Heritage Organization decided to walk for an additional cause, breast cancer. Today, the ‘Walk for Beauty’ benefits two major research grants: one for breast cancer and the other for prostrate cancer.

    ‘ ‘The men have been coming out and supporting the women in their fight for years, why not let them support each other,’ said Dr. John Kovach, director of theLong IslandCancerCenter. Breast cancer and prostate cancer affect both men and women at the same 30 percent rate, he said.

    Dr. Kovach goes on to credit Rocchio, a member of The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, for helping to include prostrate cancer in the ‘Walk for Beauty.’ ‘It really was her doing,’ he said.

    This event is based largely on the community every year.’ While the cause for the walk has changed and expanded over the years, Rocchio said that the original program for patients without insurance is still running strong.

    ‘Though the majority of the money will be used to fund the two research grants for Breast and Prostrate Cancer, ‘The Unique Boutique’ is funded continuously,” Rocchio said.

    Following the six-kilometer walk, organizers thanked students and community members for their dedication and effort to raising money for these causes. FromStonyBrookUniversity‘s own athletes to theWardMelvilleHigh Schoolstudents they ushered through the walk, everyone at the event walked with one mind and one foundation: finding a cure.

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