Team of the Week

Foot Steps for a Cure


Foot Steps for a Cure: Commemorating survivorship and friendship


Debbie Jovino was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2006.  “I was one of the lucky ones,” she explained.  “I had a lumpectromy, chemo and radiation.”  While getting her radiation therapy, she met a woman who was also treatment — Janet Stipo.  The women became great friends.  After their treatment was over, the two survivors thought it would be great to form a team for the Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure®.  In 2008, they created Foot Steps for a Cure.  Last year, the team had over 20 members and raised $2,313.  This year, its fundraising goal is $4,000 - $5,000.

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Foot Steps for a Cure says "thanks."

Jovino remembers her experience with breast cancer with appreciation for those who were there for her.  “I had an incredible amount of support from my husband, family, friends and co-workers, which got me through this terrible time.”  The team walks for all those struggling with the disease.

Members include friends, families, and co-workers. “We have six survivors on the team,” said Stipo, “and other members know people who have been diagnosed.”

This year, the team is paying special tribute to Jovino’s husband’s daughter-in-law. Tracey is a 40-year-old mother with a seven-year-old son, who has stage 4 breast cancer and is paralyzed on one side as a result of a brain hemorrhage.  “If everyone who reads this says a prayer, maybe a miracle can happen,” said Jovino.  “We’re also dedicating this year’s Race to our friend Gen,” added Stipo.

The women recruit new team members by talking to everyone they know, as well as sending out emails.  Fundraising is also done via in-person and email contact with friends, family and co-workers.  Jovino works in a doctor’s office, so she also reaches out to physicians she knows.

Jovino’s favorite Race memory comes from the team’s first year.  “When I first saw the starting line — with all those women and men in pink — it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.  It was breathtaking!”