Honoring a South Brunswick Resident Lost to Breast Cancer
Third annual "Walk for Diane" will be held on Oct. 23, in honor of Diane Goodwin, who died in August 2009 after a 16-year battle with breast cancer.
As October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a special event will be held to honor a South Brunswick wife and mother lost to the hideous disease. The third annual "Walk for Diane" will be held on Oct. 23, in honor of Diane Goodwin, who died in August 2009 after a 16-year battle with breast cancer.
The walk is to raise money for The Amy Foundation, which is named after Amy Feiman Behar, of Kendall Park, who died of breast cancer in 2007. The foundation's mission is to help women over the age of 40, who are without health insurance, obtain free screening mammograms. Amy and Diane Goodwin were friends who helped provide support for other as they were fighting breast cancer.
"(Amy's husband) Arie started this idea that women without financial means need to have greater access to early diagnosis," said Diane's husband, John Goodwin, of South Brunswick. "The foundation was already up and beginning when my wife was still alive. After she passed, it became an easy decision to throw support behind this knowing Amy was a friend of Diane and they both succumbed to the same disease. Breast cancer is a non-discriminating disease so we do what we can to give people a chance at an early diagnosis and give people a better chance towards longevity."
As they were both facing the same devastating circumstances, both Amy and Diane found solace in each other, as their fight only strengthened the bond between the two women.
"In this life you have really good friends and really good acquaintances," Goodwin said. "They became better friends when Amy was diagnosed and reached out to Diane for help. They developed a friendship Arie and I will never quite understand, because they shared the sisterhood of this disease and they helped each other. We all knew there was something special between the two of them. It was special and it was theirs."
To date, the foundation has raised over $200,000 and has helped about 1,000 women obtain a free mammogram through a partnership with Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick. The foundation also works to raise funds to promote awareness and education on the importance of early detection.
The Amy Foundation works with St. Peter's University Hospital and other local radiology centers. As a result of donations from the foundation, uninsured women age 40 or older can get free mammograms and free doctor visits to read those screenings, as well as help to deal with the results.
"We don't just provide mammograms anymore, but also ultrasound diagnosis for those who need the next stage," Goodwin said. "There might be a false positive, so those people need piece of mind to know what they're dealing with. So I'm glad we're taking the next step to do more than initial mammograms."
The 5K Walk for Diane will begin and end at Buccleuch Park, located at the intersection of Easton Avenue and Huntington Street in New Brunswick, across the street from Saint Peter’s University Hospital.
Goodwin said the event was a natural way to honor his wife's memory.
"Diane was not really a joiner of groups and didn't like anybody making a fuss over her," he said. "But she had a very giving heart and a glowing spirit about her. She never came out and said I want you to join this group. When the foundation began in 2007 I was busy taking care of her. It became obvious that this was the right thing to do to honor her. The fact that I can honor her in the midst of an organization whose members I can call my friends is special."
A fundraiser will be held this Saturday in New Brunswick by the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, who will be hosting a "Breast Brunch Ever" at their chapter house on 14 Union St. in New Brunswick. All proceeds will be going to the Amy Foundation. The brunch is from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a requested donation of $10.
The third annual "Walk for Diane" will be held on Oct. 23 at Buccleuch Park in New Brunswick. Registration starts at 8 a.m. with the walk beginning at 9 a.m. Breakfast will be provided. Registration is $15 per person and each registrant is asked to raise $70 (half of the cost of a screening mammogram).
"Diane would be extremely proud of what this has grown into and what it's continuing to grow into," Goodwin said. "This gives our family and her friends a chance to honor her. She meant a lot to a lot of people, and what we're doing as an organization for early detection is the right thing to do."