When Carrie Tropea was a junior at Yorktown High School in 1996, her mother Caroline Puppo was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 46. It came as a surprise – she was young and had no family history.
That same year, Tropea and her family attended their first Support Connection's Support-A-Walk, which raises money for the organization's support services to women with breast and ovarian cancer.
She set up a team of walkers called "Friends of Caroline" and for the first couple of years, her mother joined them at the Support-A-Walk.
"When she was able to, she out-walked my dad," Tropea said.
Tropea's mother continued to battle the disease for the next several years, living life to the fullest and seeing her daughter get married in 2006. Puppo passed away on June 19, 2007. She was 58.
Now, Tropea and her team are getting ready to attend their 17th consecutive Support-A-Walk. Last year alone they raised $1,600 for Support Connection’s free programs and services. The team usually consists of about 14 people, including Tropea’s father and brother and a number of friends. Tropea’s husband Christopher and their 3-year old daughter Isabella Rose are also there each year;
This year's Support Connection's 18th Annual Support-A-Walk" will be held at Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown Heights on Sunday, Oct. 7.
"I want women to understand how important it is to be diligent about checking themselves for breast cancer, and to advocate for their own health," Tropea said. "When my mom first found the lump in her breast, it didn’t show up on a mammogram. My dad insisted that she have an ultrasound, and that’s how her diagnosis was made."
Tropea, 33, insists on having regular mammograms herself. She said she wants women to know that it could happen to anyone and it's important to be proactive.
To read more about this Sunday's walk on Patch, click here. For more information about the Walk, visit Support Connection's website.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.