Thursday, August 7, 2014

Strength for Life receives $25,600 as a beneficiary of the 2014 LI2Day Walk

At a wonderful celebratory luncheon at Carrabba’s on August 6, 2014, Strength for Life was presented a most generous beneficiary check of $25,600. As you may know the LI2Day Walk was organized to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and other cancer research, to benefit cancer sufferers, survivors, and their families, and to support organizations that are participating in such efforts.

In 2012 Strength for Life received a special grant from the LI2Day walk and began our journey to become more involved. Strength for Life is a LI based nonprofit providing FREE exercise classes and wellness retreats to cancer patients/survivors. We were quite hesitant to participate and raise $$$ for another nonprofit when we rely on our fundraising efforts to afford our program however, with that special grant we wanted to give back and learn more.  In 2013 we had a team of 4 walkers and a crew team participate – not a full ‘all in” but more involved and raised $6000 + and received $7800 as a partial beneficiary.  In awe of the event and the organization we became committed to be 100% in.  And we did. We had jobs to satisfy, goals to reach and every effort was appreciated, and the efforts returned exponentially. There are 14 other LI beneficiary organization all helping your friends and neighbors.

Our blog of the 2013 event will give you a flavor for this incredible organization and the event.  In 2014 the format changed in the 11th year to a one day event and has expanded its mission to raise awareness and funds for all women’s cancers. 

We are on a mission to share this event and seduce more involvement from the public as walkers, sponsors, volunteers etc.  Strength for Life will be having a team again – so put on your walking shoes and walk with us.  Be a part of this celebration of life!

For more information visit our website , as soon as we get the news we will post it.  You can learn more about our classes held at venues throughout Nassau and Suffolk on the website.  We are currently opening class at Southampton Hospital and the Dolan Family Health Center (part of NSLIJ in Huntington) in addition to our classes at Stony Brook, Mather, Winthrop, Breast Cancer Help and STARS Rehabilitation (NSLIJ /East Meadow).  Share the news with friends and family – our programs are FREE to participants, any adult cancer patient/survivor regardless of age, gender or diagnosis.

The Bridge - a most emotional walk!

Our own Teresa Doherty (BOD) and sister Denise

"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."  ~Vince Lombardi

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Seeking Sponsors for the Evelyn Knapp "Run to Remember"...Mark you calendars 11/23/14

As with all fundraisers there are a plethora of ways to help Strength for Life... 
and all suggestions are welcome.

We had  great success last year raising over $20,000 and we are thankful to everyone who contributed time, finances and talent to this success.  

If you know a company that is willing to sponsor a portion of our event 
we appreciate you reaching to them on our behalf.  

Another way to help is to fundraise for the 5K challenging run or the 3K Boardwalk event. 
Every dollar helps, no amount is too small.

We are also seeking in-kind donations for raffles - 
be creative the runners and walkers will appreciate your efforts. 

Call us at 631-675-6513 or email to discuss any/all your ideas.

Be a part of the Five Year Survival "Run to Remember"

Monday, June 30, 2014

Nutrition and Cancer

Great Video ...

 Dr. Donald Abrams of UCSF sifts through some of the complex data on the relationship between nutrition and cancer and endeavors to help separate fact from fiction in this quickly moving field. Series: Integrative Medicine Today [5/2010] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 17359]

Nutrition and Cancer

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid

Ask Dr. Weil: Is It Safe To Eat Raw Mushrooms?

Andrew Weil, MD
Q: Is it true that you should never eat mushrooms raw?–Lisa Enslow, 48, Chatham, NJ
A: Yes. Mushrooms have very tough cell walls and are essentially indigestible if you don't cook them. Thoroughly heating them releases the nutrients they contain, including protein, B vitamins, and minerals, as well as a wide range of novel compounds not found in other foods. In Asian traditions, mushrooms are regarded as both food and medicine because they can support the body's natural defenses by enhancing the immune system.
But there are other reasons to cook your mushrooms. Raw mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins, including some compounds that are considered carcinogens. These are destroyed by cooking them thoroughly. Broiling or grilling is best.
Because of these concerns and because they offer little in the way of improving health, common button mushrooms are best avoided. But the types eaten in Asia—shiitake, maitake, oyster mushrooms, and enoki—provide a range of health benefits. The shiitake may be my favorite: It appears to enhance immunity and reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Maitake contains complex sugars called beta-glucans that have immune-enhancing effects. Oyster mushrooms contain compounds that can help address high cholesterol. Other mushrooms are used strictly in traditional medicinal preparations.Cordyceps mushrooms are used to increase aerobic capacity and support lung function. Reishi helps fight cancer. Lion's Mane contains a nerve-growth compound that has potential for treating nerve disorders. Finally, mushrooms that have been exposed to the sun will contain vitamin D, and you can also increase dried mushrooms' D content by leaving them to sit in sunlight.
I travel a great deal and am in contact with many people. Mushrooms are a mainstay of my diet and help support my immune system. I also take two supplements that are mushroom blends: MyCommunity and Stamets 7, both from a company called Fungi Perfecti.
ANDREW WEIL, MD, is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona. 
For more information, go to

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Powerful Acceptance Speech from our Recognition Honoree "EMPOWER"

In case you need a refresher click here for the Recap of the Recognition Dinner

And  here is the acceptance speech that brought the house to tears and laughter.  Bravo my friend, Annette.

I would like to thank the academy, my producers, the production company....
OOPS! Wrong venue!
Happy Birthday to you (sung/whispered ala Marilyn Monroe)
Oh, sorry, Chemo Brain!


Fear, anxiety, depression, confusion, darkness, isolation, panic, constant daily pain....

Then HOPE.

Cancer is not all that bad you see...
It forces us to evaluate what is important in our lives, what we hold dear to us, and makes us realize not to waste precious time on bull shit.

It clearly reminds us that each moment of life is a treasured gift and should not be squandered on negative thoughts or actions.

You become acutely aware of and admire the beauty of a sunset.

You appreciate your loved ones on a deeper level.

You marvel at the majesty of a blooming flower.

You make time for what is important, especially yourself.

You firmly believe in hope and karma.

I would like to take a moment to honor and thank Evelyn Knapp. I feel that it is divine intervention that we are all gathered here today.* Clearly Evelyn was a very special person who touched the lives of many, and continues to touch even more. Her passion and spirit enabled the amazing Strength for Life organization to be born. Jacqui & Debbie have kept her memory and mission alive through selflessly giving strength, hope and empowerment to scores of cancer patients.

I want to thank Strength for Life not only for honoring me today, but for the consistent, uplifting support they give. Whether it is free exercise, nutritional guidance, wellness retreats or simply friendship, they are an endless support for their participants.

I am often asked how I have stayed so strong and positive during my 4 year battle with 2 primary cancers.

Enduring:    5 serious infections
                   4 organ surgeries
                   3 courses of chemo
                   2 times completely bald
                   And a partridge in a pear tree

It was largely due to being born in Brooklyn and I don't consider myself a survivor, I am a warrior! I consider my scars badges of honor and I have used my keen sense of humor. But more so, due to my super supportive friends both old and new, and my fabulous family.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you.

To my parents, who provided a safe and comfortable environment and have helped me through so many days when I could not get out of bed over the past four years.

To my daughter Amanda, who makes her mama proud on a consistent basis. She is always kind, generous and cheerful. She also sat tirelessly at my side during my early
treatments, at uncountable hospital stays, all while needing to be other places, in order to graduate honors college. She has been one of my biggest joys since she was born.

To my new friends, Priscilla, Christie, Becky & Laura, who met a broken woman, post treatments. They have seen me struggle, dealt with my new found lack of patience and accepted and loved me, realizing that I am more than this beast that I wrestle with every few months. They have offered their time, their strength, their smile, very often when mine is waning.

To my old friends, Jae, Ruth, Brittany, who have hung in there, and kept my spirits high when I would otherwise be disheartened. They watched my struggle and been steadfast friends.

To my Best Friend, Claire who works an average of 10-12 hours a day, and often weekends, but all I had to do was mention a surgery, or need the ER and in a heartbeat, she would drop everything and be at my side for endless hours, many times throughout the night, with me begging her to go home. She gave me the gift of peace of mind every time I went into surgery or was admitted to the hospital.

To my oncology nurse Kim. A blessing from day one, she has been my sounding board, my 'xanax', my sanity. She very unselfishly has given me her knowledge, her caring heart, every time and anytime I needed it during the roller coaster treatments I have been through. I know for a fact that, I would not be standing here today without her unwavering strength and compassion. She is truly an angel on earth.

Finally, if you know me at all, you know that music is an important part of my life and joy. So when I could not bring myself to face anyone, even myself, I would turn on my Ipod and listen...

There was an array of music, from a plethora of artists, but most effective for me was Lady Gaga. Particularly "Marry the Night" an anthem about never giving in or giving up.
"I'm gonna marry the night
I won't give up on my life
I'm a Warrior Queen
Live passionately tonight"

This warrior queen would like to wish you all health, happiness and blessings as I have had in my life

          ~Annette Gerani

*The Recognition Dinner was held on the anniversary of Evelyn’s passing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thank you for your support of the 'Third Annual Recognition Dinner'

The night is over and event was a huge success, and now that we have time to breathe we want to offer our sincerest thanks for your support of our Recognition Dinner 2014. The honorees, three amazing women who inspire, strengthen and empower others are a blessing for Strength for Life, and we were so happy to present our first ‘Evelyn Knapp Benevolence’ award.

Your support helped Strength for Life raise $8000 towards the mission of providing free exercise classes and wellness weekends to people living with cancer and survivors. Strength for Life is able to impact the lives of cancer survivors by your generous sponsorship. Thank you!

As you may know, Strength for Life was formed in memory of Evelyn Knapp, an exercise physiologist, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005.  After Evelyn’s diagnosis, she continued to exercise saying it gave her a feeling of control in an uncontrollable situation. Aside from the psychological benefits of exercising during treatment, studies have shown that there are many physiological benefits as well.  The newest American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines suggests that patients who exercise through treatment have up to a 50% increase in survival rate.

Since 2007, when Strength for Life was officially formed, we have helped over 1000 cancer patients and survivors regain their “strength for life”. We hold classes at Stony Brook Cancer Center, Winthrop University, Mather Hospital, STARS Rehab (part of NSLIJ), Long Island Cancer Wellness Center, and our newest location at the Commack JCC Strength for Life is very active with support groups throughout Long Island we are on the advisory committee for the Suffolk County Cancer Awareness Task Force.  In addition, we were honored to be voted 2013 LIWA (Long Island Women’s Agenda) Organization of the Year. Strength for Life has a ‘5’ star rating on “Great Non Profits” with comments from our clients stating they had a “life changing”, “powerful” and “nurturing” experience.
Our mission is to educate survivors and the general public how to use exercise as a complementary therapy to increase the odds of survival; and how exercise as prevention decreases the risk of chronic diseases.  The exercise prescribed is doable and necessary, so to quote Nike – “just do it!”

Thank you!

Jacqui Errico  & Debbie Hughes


see previous posts for a recap of the event...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Shop AmazonSmile for an extra donation to Strength for Life

In honor of Dad, shop at AmazonSmile through 6/15/14 
and Amazon will donate an extra $5 to Strength For Life Inc. 

Click here to get started:

Monday, June 2, 2014

Recognition Dinner (part 2) - special thanks!

39 Gift Baskets

These were no ordinary small gifts presented -
 we had over $5000 in gifts displayed.

Thank you!!!

Special thanks to MGM 
(Macri, Greenpsan & Moramarco)Law Firm 
for the Keurig and Coffee Basket 
Denise Chapman for the Case of Wine
to all our solicitors as well as any gift donors I may have missed!!!

To all who attended, physically and/or in spirit!!