For 20 years, the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital has been taking care of cancer patients, and supporters have been raising money and awareness through its annual Whittingham Cancer Center Walk and Sally’s Run since 2004. Sally’s Run was added in 2011 in memory and honor of Sally Kalin, a Wilton mom who lost her fight with breast cancer the year before. Over 1,700 participants—including Hospital staff, patients, families and caregivers, and community residents of all ages—are expected to “step up” and take part in support.

The Hospital’s C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Cancer Center combines warm and compassionate, hands-on attention with the collective expertise of a multidisciplinary care team utilizing the latest technology and most advanced cancer treatment options.

Wilton resident, Pam Rouleau is walking in this year’s on Saturday, April 29, motivated by the incredible care she found this past year after her own diagnosis. She formed a team called “Yes Mam-mogram & the Self-Checkers,” and in her own words, she shares why she walks and why she hopes others will support her efforts. 

This past summer I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After some thoughtful consideration, I chose to have my surgeries done at Norwalk Hospital and my treatments done at the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital. My doctors at Norwalk Hospital have been terrific–excellent physicians, compassionate, and supportive.

In addition, the Whittingham Cancer Center has been a constant source of support for me. To say that the staff at the Center does whatever they can to help me feel like a “regular” human being during a time of flux is an understatement. The Center doesn’t just provide support during cancer treatment, but after treatment, as well. It’s also a place where I’ve built relationships that have sustained me through this process.

Before I had cancer, I was unaware of the importance and complexity of the post-surgery process. I would never have guessed how many components are involved in helping each cancer patient adjust to his or her new life. The Whittingham Cancer Center offers so many critical support programs, not just for those who have survived cancer but for their families as well, and all of these support programs rely in part on generous donations. For example, just to name a few,

  • $2,500 can provide seminars on topics such as Cognitive Function, which helps survivors deal with issues such as memory loss, or trouble concentrating. More recently, Chair Yoga has been added to the offerings, helping promote deeper healing, reducing stress, and increasing relaxation using simple yoga and breathing techniques.
  • $250 can provide a patient with a one-on-one session with an oncology nurse navigator to review a chemo plan, side effects, treatment concerns, education, support, survivorship care plans and recommendations.
  • $200 can cover a genetic counseling session for uninsured/under insured patients.
  • $90 enables a patient to receive a one-hour session with a registered dietitian.

In order to raise money to continue funding these critical support programs, the Whittingham Cancer Center hosts an annual Whittingham Cancer Center Walk & Sally’s Run. As someone who appreciates first hand how important these “after-surgery” programs are to a cancer patient, I want to give back. This is why I’ve formed a team to participate in this event on April 29, 2017. One hundred percent of the funds raised from this walk/run go directly towards funding these “after-surgery” programs. It all stays local, right at the Norwalk Hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Center!

My niece and her husband helped come up with the team name–Yes Mam-mogram & the Self-Checkers–and I love it because it’s a reminder that, “Yes, ladies, we need to get those mammograms done,” and, “Yes, we need to do self exams, too.”

Throughout my own cancer treatment, I have seen too many other patients going in and out of the Whittingham Cancer Center. Cancer impacts so many lives, so many families. However, I take comfort in knowing that this center is providing cancer patients and their families with the same level of critical support and care that I have received. But these programs depend on continued donations from people like you and me.

So, I’m inviting you to grab a friend (or several), male or female, and join me and my team on April 29 for a 3K walk or a 5K run. Feel free to share this link with your companies, clients, and anyone else you can think of.

Please join us and let’s have some fun! And if you can’t be there that day, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!