Heather Salerno has this story about Geri Moran of Elmsford from Sunday’s Journal News:
Though some might not see having breast cancer as lucky, Elmsford’s Geri Moran, a 23-year survivor, knows exactly how much good fortune she’s had throughout her journey with the illness.
Her luck started when she went to her doctor in 1988 to investigate a shooting pain in her right breast. The doctor was convinced that the cause was a benign cyst, but he insisted that she go for a mammogram just to be sure. He was right about the cyst, but the mammogram also picked up a tiny tumor in the other breast.
“It was in a small space, in a duct, that made it more dangerous,” says Moran, who was a 40-year-old single mother when she was first diagnosed. “By the time I would have felt it, I would have been dead.”
Photos by Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News
Instead, her cancer was detected at Stage 1, early enough that it hadn’t spread. She had a mastectomy to remove the tumor, but she and her oncologist decided that she didn’t need further treatment like chemotherapy, radiation or other cancer-fighting drugs. Since then, she’s needed no additional therapies —nor has she had a recurrence of the disease.
“I always say I’m the luckiest person in the world,” says Moran.
So she found a way to give back, creating small cloth dolls called “Wish and Worry Angels.” They’re designed to bring comfort to those in need — the idea is to let the angel take care of your troubles — and Moran has given away hundreds over the years.
Many have gone to patients seeking help at Support Connection, the Yorktown Heights-based organization that offers services to those with breast and ovarian cancer. (She also sells them at the online marketplace Etsy.com, with a portion of the proceeds going to Support Connection and Operation Smile, a charity that provides free surgeries to children around the world with facial deformities.)
“Every time I sit down and say, ‘I’m not doing these angels anymore, nobody needs them,’ someone calls and says they want one for someone they know that’s sick,” she says.
There are plenty of other ways that breast cancer changed Geri Moran’s life. After the jump, here are 10 more examples of how the disease has impacted her: