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    19th Annual 'Walk for Beauty' Raises $25,000 for Cancer Research At Stony Brook University

    Proceeds from 2012 event presented at Stony Brook University Cancer Center

    STONY BROOK, NY, August 19, 2013 – Committee members from the “Walk for Beauty” on Aug. 15 presented a check for $25,000 representing proceeds from the 2012 walk to benefit cancer research at Stony Brook University Cancer Center. 

    Receiving the check on behalf of Stony Brook University were Yusuf Hannun, MD, Director, Stony Brook Cancer Center, Vice Dean, Cancer Medicine, and the Joel Kenny Professor of Medicine, and Rose Cardin, RN, MSN, Administrator for Cancer Services at Stony Brook Medicine. 

    Funds raised in 2012 will support the research of Michael Hayman, PhD, Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Stony Brook University, who gave an overview of his work to develop a drug that more selectively targets cancer cells. 

    Researchers know that high levels of certain enzymes may contribute to the growth of cancer cells, Hayman said. But drugs that inhibit those enzymes can also affect normal cells. So Hayman is taking a different approach in his research: designing drugs that are activated by two different classes of enzymes found in certain types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer, so that the drugs can more selectively target the cancer only. 

    Over the past 19 years, the Walk for Beauty committee has raised more than $1 million for cancer research and patient support at Stony Brook. The event is an all-volunteer initiative with no administrative costs. All of the proceeds stay in the community to benefit cancer research at Stony Brook. 

    Gloria Rocchio, President of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, presenting co-sponsor of the walk with Stony Brook Medicine, said the event has been a successful collaboration between the hospital, area businesses, schools and governmental leaders since it was initiated in 1994. 

    “The Walk for Beauty has contributed $1.175 million toward research at Stony Brook Medicine,” Rocchio said. “In addition, the Walk for Beauty has helped thousands of patients by providing prostheses and wigs to those in need. These seed grants resulted in eight additional grants from national organizations totaling over $7 million.” 

    The 2013 walk will honor two community members who have supported the walk since its inception:  Jim Condron, Vice President and Market Manager of WALK AM/FM Radio, and Leah S. Dunaief, Editor and Publisher of the Times Beacon Record newspapers, two long-time supporters of the walk. 

    The breast cancer survivor honoree is Janet Taormina of Patchogue, who was diagnosed at Stony Brook Cancer Center in 2010. With support from the hospital medical staff and her friends and family, she not only survived breast cancer, she thrived. 

    “Everyone responded to me with tenderhearted compassion, constant encouragement and lots of hugs,” she said. 

    The 20th annual Walk for Beauty on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Stony Brook Village Center. The walk includes 4K and 6K options, with the 6K walk route encompassing Avalon Park and Preserve. Check-in starts at 8:30 AM and the walk begins at 9:30 AM. The cost is $20 if paid by Oct. 6, $25 thereafter. All proceeds go to benefit research and local patients at Stony Brook Cancer Center. 

    For more information or to register, call HealthConnect at (631) 444-4000 or visit www.stonybrookvillage.com/walk


    PHOTO CAPTION: At left, Michael Hayman, PhD, Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Stony Brook University, recipient of $25,000 in proceeds from the 2012 Walk for Beauty, stands with representatives from the Walk for Beauty, front row, left to right: Anna Kerekes, Judy Shivak, Gloria Rocchio (co-chair, Walk for Beauty), Patricia DiLucca, Lenore Paprocki and Linda Bily (co-chair, Walk for Beauty); and back row, left to right: Lynette Leepack, Dr. Yusuf Hannun (Director, Stony Brook University Cancer Center), Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) and Clinton Weaver.

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