Written by Lyn Dobrin Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Cancer can’t hold back Westbury resident Ellen Palmer, who recently helped raise $33,000 for the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Program.
“I feel blessed and lucky,” said Palmer at a fundraising party thrown for her by family, friends and colleagues. For Palmer, the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Program has special meaning, as it has helped her cope with being diagnosed with cancer three times since 2006, and having breast cancer that has spread to her lungs and brain, making her a person with stage 4 metastic breast cancer.
Palmer had been thinking about having a fundraiser since her friends said they wanted to throw a birthday party for her last April. “I felt embarrassed and didn’t want to have a party because I have cancer,” she said but the thought prompted another idea. She said she would love to do a fundraiser for the Adelphi Breast Cancer Program. As a nurse at Winthrop University Hospital she had gone to educational programs at the Adelphi Program and appreciated the support they gave to people coping with breast cancer. But then came her third cancer and everything was put on hold. She came through the surgery so well that her husband George brought up the party idea again. He contacted
Palmer’s sister Maureen Buttafuco, along with friends from their own community for assistance in organizing the event.
Over 300 people came to Palmer’s party, which was held at Verdi’s in Westbury. Palmer said she felt as if the entire community was there for her, as family, friends, her son’s classmates, doctors, and others from the hospital joined together.
“It was great for the community,” says Palmer, “and I was very touched and overwhelmed.”
Palmer says she wants to help people who she feels might not be as lucky as she sees herself and is appreciative of the counseling support her family received from the Adelphi Program when she was diagnosed with cancer the second time.
The program, which runs out of Garden City, helps women and their families as they deal with breast cancer. “For families there are fears and anxieties you can’t say to your sick loved one,” says Palmer.
Palmer says she has been surrounded by so much love and support and wants to give to women who may not have the suport system that she had.