United against a common enemy, hundreds of participants, supporters and volunteers last Saturday helped raise more than $50,000 at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Howard Beach in Frank M. Charles Park.
“We learn very quickly that cancer knows no boundaries,” said state Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach. “It’s great to see every year, in my opinion, a greater number of survivors. But we know we have a long way to go.”
Dotty Langan, of Woodhaven, walked the traditional first lap of the event as a breast cancer survivor. She and her family have attended every one of the seven Howard Beach relays; however, this year was bittersweet, as Langan lost her husband to colon cancer on May 18.
“You have mixed feelings,” Langan said, fighting back a wave of tears as she sat up in her lawn chair and talked about survivor’s guilt. “But [the victims] are not forgotten, that’s for sure.”
Dotty’s daughter-in-law, Sue Langan, noted how the Relay is an annual moment for neighbors to show support and recall loved ones lost.
“It really is a community event,” Sue Langan said. “It’s a nice way to come together for a great cause.”
The Langan family, whose team name is Friends for Life, raised more than $4,000.
Relay co-chairs Cathy Stanton and Susanne Rescigno said it’s a unique fundraiser in that it’s “very personal” because cancer is a disease that affects so many lives.
“One day we hope to never have to have relays,” Stanton said…
“…but until then, we’ll be here,” Rescigno added without missing a beat.
By Michael V. Cusenza