Pink ribbons to remember

Breast cancer awareness event held throughout WNY/UC

The month of October usually means Halloween, with black and orange decorations, but a certain shade of pink also makes an appearance in the form of a ribbon. October also happens to be breast cancer awareness month.
The North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC) will be working in cooperation with cities and townships throughout Hudson County area, launching events to raise awareness of breast cancer and to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Maria Lorente is a nurse practitioner in the woman’s health department and is the coordinator of breast cancer awareness events done in part by the NHCAC.
“We have scheduled events on different days,” said Lorente.


Lorente hopes to raise $6,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Lorente said that women will be able to come to one of the NHCAC’s offices for a free clinical breast examination and be able to participate in a free educational breast cancer program at certain times.
In West New York, the next free mammogram giveaway will be Oct. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. It will be held at 5301 Broadway. Other events for a free mammogram will take place in Hoboken from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Oct. 16 at 124 Grand St., and in North Bergen from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 16 at 1116 43rd St.
The Jersey City Health Center will host a similar event on Oct. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at 324 Palisade Ave.
In Union City, an event will honor survivors of breast cancer on Oct. 22 at the Jose Marti School located at 1800 Summit Ave.
“It’s a joint effort that we’re doing with them. They provide us the tables to provide educational materials,” said Lorente. “Last year we had 500 people. We’re going to do screenings and have same raffles.”

Raising money

Lorente is also coordinating the initiative to raise money for awareness, as she says she has done for previous years. “This year the workers in the clinic came up to me and asked ‘so what are we doing this year?’,” said Lorente, who went on to describe how centers were selling baked goods, weekly raffle tickets for a GPS and other prizes, and breast cancer awareness items. Raffle tickets were sold at NHCAC centers for a fee of one to five dollars. At the Palisades health center, massages are also being sold to raise money.
Later this month, on Oct. 18 at Lincoln Park in Jersey City, the American Cancer Society, a national organization whose self-declared mission is “to prevent cancer, save lives, and diminish suffering from cancer,” will be holding a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk-a-thon, in which Lorente and other members of the NHCAC as well as Hudson County officials will participate.
So far, the top participant of the event is Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, who has collected $2,075 for the walk. The top 10 walking teams who have raised the most money for the event include the Hudson County Executive’s Office, which has raised $6,063 so far at the time of publication; Sherriff Juan Perez’ team, who has raised $1,653.78; the Hudson County Correctional Center – Sgt. Banks’ team, with $1,440 in funds raised, and the Hudson County Clerk’s team, with $1, 265 raised. Lorente hopes to raise $6,000 this year.

Why awareness is important

“This is the time that we should be able to make everybody aware that early detection by having a mammogram and going to your provider for your checkup is key in order for us to follow up if there is a problem,” said Lorente.
“We also want to make everybody aware that there is a way for anybody that doesn’t have any insurance, for us to be able to connect them to the people that can help them.” Lorente noted that the earlier the detection, the better the chances are of survival.
For more information on events in the area, visit contact the NHCAC via telephone at: (201) 210-0200.
Melissa Rappaport may be reached at

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