Judy Facciola of Carmel is a breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed in March 2009 with Stage 1 HER2+ breast cancer in 2009, she has been through the journey and has made it to the other side. After being cancer-free for two years, Facciola was hit with an emotional blow when her sister, Joyce Reyes, was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer.
Inspired by the help she received during and after her treatments, Facciola walks in the Support Connections’ Support-a-Walk to raise money and awareness about the opportunities for help that exist for women like her and Joyce.
“Since my diagnosis, every person that I have come in to contact with at Support Connection has been very caring, classy, knowledgeable and most of all good listeners,” said Facciola, an administrative assistant for IBM in Somers. “Now that my sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer, I have been interested in helping her while she is going through her reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy treatments.”
Founded in 1996, Support Connection provides one-on-one peer counseling, workshops, wellness classes, public education outreach and referral services to women diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer – along with friends and families.
“I tell my sister, Joyce, [who lives in Oakdale on Long Island,] that knowledge is power,” said Facciola. “Joyce did attend her first Support Connection teleconference support group call this past month and I am hoping that she will continue.”
On Sunday, Oct. 2, Facciola will be walking in her second Support-a-Walk at Franklin D. Roosevelt Park in Yorktown. She will lead the team “Joyce’s Journey” to help spread the word about the services that Support Connection offers.
“I urge all women to connect with a support group to help them in the day to day life as a cancer survivor,” Facciola said.
Facciola does not have to look far to see evidence that one can beat cancer and go on to lead a full life. Her grandmother Rose Kovacs of Cortlandt Manor was diagnosed with cancer when she was 75 years old. Today, Kovacs is 101 years old—she has been cancer-free for 26 years and is still going strong.
“Someone at work passed this quote to me and I think it sums up the life of a cancer patient,” said Facciola. “’The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible!’”
To learn more about the services offered by Support Connection or to join the walk, visit supportconnection.org.