Loved ones of Maureen Henry, as well as hundreds of South Brooklynites and Sunset Park residents, hit the ground walking on Saturday, September 13 for the fifth annual Maureen Henry Walk of Hope.
“It went absolutely wonderfully. I couldn’t have asked for a better day,” said Sunset Parker Kim Henry who held the event in loving memory of her sister, Maureen.
Maureen, a native Brooklynite as well, lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2006.
The afternoon event braved a few impending storm clouds while honoring 16 cancer survivors as well as remembering those who have lost their fight.
“I just couldn’t stand still and not show everyone how important my sister was to our family,” said Henry on why she started the walk, as well as the Maureen Henry Walk of Hope organization. “I just couldn’t let her be a statistic and a number.”
Henry, having lost too many people just to lie down, decided to stand up, and to walk.
“I was just overwhelmed with the support that Sunset Park showed,” said Henry, who was also quick to help take care of the four daughters her sister left behind. “I’m so grateful for everyone’s generosity.”
The walk raised well over $3,000, 100 percent of which Henry said went towards the Gynecology Research Lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to enable doctors Vance Broach, on hand for the fundraiser, and Douglas Levion to continue their early detection research project.
Currently, there is no test for ovarian cancer, which is likely fatal the later it is detected.
“It was an incredibly inspiring afternoon,” said Henry who awarded 16 cancer survivors with certificates of bravery – a dramatic increase from the first annual’s two survivors. “It’s just so that those cancer survivors can acknowledge the bravery that they showed and the struggles that they’ve faced.”
Local businesses donated to the cause, with the organization raffling off a bike, as well as one free month of kickboxing classes at Sunset Park Martial Arts, a coffee maker, a Pilo Arts gift card, and more.
All in all, Henry said, over 300 people turned out to remember Maureen and release blue balloons in her name, and in the name of fellow fallen loved ones, into the sky.
“It was just inspiring,” said Henry, who hopes to do it all again next year.
For more information on the Maureen Henry Walk of Hope, visit www.maureenhenrywalk.tumblr.com.