STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 3, 2012 – The 2012 Walk for Beauty, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Stony Brook Village Center, will honor breast cancer survivor Barbara Meringolo of Stony Brook, and Legends Hair Designs and Day Spa owner Patrick Parent of Selden as it sets its sights on raising funds for breast cancer research at Stony Brook University.
Co-sponsored annually by Stony Brook University Hospital and The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, the Walk for Beauty has raised more than $1 million for breast cancer research since its inception in 1994. All proceeds from the volunteer-led event go towards research and patient support; there are no administrative fees.
Meringolo says she agreed to serve as the breast cancer survivor honoree for this year’s walk as a way to inspire others to support breast cancer research. “The deciding factor for me was that I am visible in the community,” she said. “If people recognize me, I feel there might be more recognition for the cause.”
Meringolo was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 on her 15th wedding anniversary, she said. Martyn Burk, MD, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and a surgeon in the Division of Breast and Oncologic Surgery, performed a mastectomy at Stony Brook, and she has been cancer-free ever since.
An unexpected benefit of Meringolo’s bout with breast cancer is that it led her to establish a support group for breast cancer survivors in St. James. Called the “Sisters in Pink,” the group of 20 meets monthly to provide mutual support and encouragement. “That’s the good that came out of it,” she said. “We’re just very present for one another.”
Patrick Parent was chosen as the walk’s community honoree in recognition of his participation in “Cut for a Cure” for the past four years, with proceeds benefiting Stony Brook University Cancer Center. His Legends Hair Designs also provides pink hair extensions at the Walk, with proceeds donated to the event.
“Patrick also offers wigs for cancer patients, for which he is only paid a maximum of $200 from the Walk for Beauty Unique Boutique Fund, which has been part of the walk since its inception,” said Gloria Rocchio, President of The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, and co-chair of the walk. “He picks up the remaining cost for many of these wigs, which are worth far more. These patients do not have insurance or funds to pay for these services.”
“I am thrilled to have been selected as the 2012 Walk for Beauty Community honoree,” Parent said. “It is a great partnership between Ward Melville Heritage Organization and Stony Brook Medicine. It’s a privilege to be part of a community that is so involved in the fight against breast cancer. Over the years, I have seen quite a few of my clients afflicted with this disease. I wanted to get involved and be a part of this fight.”
Early registration for the walk with a discounted registration fee of $20 ends Oct. 1. The cost is $25 after that date. Registration on the day of the event starts at 8:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 9:30 a.m. For more information or to register, call (631) 444-4000 or visit www.stonybrookmedicine.edu/walkforbeauty.
About Stony Brook University Cancer Center:
Stony Brook University Cancer Center is Suffolk County’s cancer care leader and a leader in education and research. With more than 20,000 inpatient and outpatient visits annually, the Cancer Center includes 12 multidisciplinary teams: Breast Cancer; Colorectal Cancer; Gynecologic Oncology; Head, Neck and Thyroid Oncology; Lung Cancer; Melanoma; Neurologic Oncology; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Sarcoma; Stem Cell Transplantation and Hematologic Malignancy; Upper Gastrointestinal Oncology; and Urologic Oncology. The cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program and received the Commission’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center is the first center in New York State to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. To learn more, visit www.cancer.stonybrookmedicine.edu.
About The Ward Melville Heritage Organization:
Ward Melville created the Stony Brook Community Fund in 1939, which was eventually renamed The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) in his honor. This is WMHO’s 19th year as a presenting sponsor of the Walk for Beauty event. Founded in 1939, WMHO is a not-for-profit corporation that develops and fosters community enrichment through cultural and educational experiences. WMHO accomplishes this by enhancing and interpreting its historic and environmentally sensitive properties and by utilizing state-of-the-art technology. For further information visit www.wmho.org.