Essex County workers fight cancer through rain drops

Sharon Garvey speaks to those attending the Cancer Awareness Walk at the Essex County offices June 7.

Sharon Garvey speaks to those attending the Cancer Awareness Walk at the Essex County offices June 7. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— There were no rainy day blues, but there was plenty of purple making its way through the soaked streets of Elizabethtown June 7.

A number of people showed up to attend the Essex County Public Health Department’s cancer awareness walk that day, hosting two walks around town as well as food and information on healthy living.

“We appreciate everyone that was able to come out on this rainy day,” Lisa French of the department said. “There are a lot of people that put a lot of time and effort into this event, and we thank them for helping make this a success.”

Those in attendance also heard from Sharon Garvey, an employee of Cornell Cooperative Extension who has had two battles with cancer.

“The first was 20 years ago this fall and the second time was 15 years later, almost to the day,” Garvey told those gathered under umbrellas and the cover of the Old Courthouse steps. “We are here today to honor those who have been impacted by cancer.”

Garvey said that she has been on both sides of the fence when it comes to cancer, as she is one of five siblings (out of seven) to be diagnosed, with only two of the five surviving.

“I have been through it as a patient and a caregiver, and it is a lot worse to find out a family member had cancer then when they told me that I had it,” she said. “Cancer is like this weather; it is unpredictable. It is not in your life’s plan.”

Garvey added that events like this to raise funds for cancer treatment and research have helped many like her.

“There is so much out there with the technology and all of the testing that they can do today,” she said.

This story has been updated to make a correction. Garvey is an employee of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

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