Team of the Week

Gussie’s Gang

 

Close cousins band together to fight breast cancer


Susan Schulman founded Gussie’s Gals in 1996, naming the team after her grandmother.  She was introduced to the Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure® through her sister Dr. Ellen Mandel, a long-time Komen Greater NYC volunteer, who has been captain of the Pace University team for 15 years.  The name of the team was changed to Gussie’s Gang in 2003 when men were first allowed to participate in the Race.

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One of three generations of Krumholz
cousins who have slept in the same
bassinet.

Last year, the team had 13 members.  This year, Shulman hopes to raise $1,000.

Gussie’s Gang is made up of Shulman’s close cousins, ranging from ages eight to 80.  “We are part of the very determined Krumholz family,” she explained, “We’ve always devoted time and energy to helping others in a variety of ways.”  A close first cousin, Sandy, recently lost her fight with lymphoma.  The team walks in her memory.  Another first cousin is a breast cancer survivor.  The team walks in her honor. 

The group shares another unique connection.  Every cousin, his or her children and grandchildren have slept in the same bassinete — which was originally bought when the eldest Krumholz cousin was born.  “We think we would make all our parents and grandparents proud of our commitment to each other and to helping others,” Shulman stated.

This close family has been affected by breast cancer.  Everyone knows family and/or friends who have had the disease.  “We know that no one is immune,” Shulman said.  “We hope for a cure as does everyone involved with this wonderful organization.”

Shulman recruits team members by sending out an annual reminder about the Race.  The team includes friends, as well as family. Monies are raised by spreading the word to colleagues and friends.   The team’s commitment to the cause is motivation for those close to its members, which is why they support the team’s efforts with donations.

After the Race, one of the cousins usually hosts a brunch, where team members can collapse, eat and talk. 

When asked about a personal memory, Shulman recalled the year her mother decided to walk in the Race.  “My mother was a prim and proper lady.  It was the only time we ever saw her don a pair of sneakers.”  It was right after her mother had had a valve replacement, and she wanted to participate.  “She got a little dizzy, but it didn’t stop her,” said Shulman.  “We walked slowly with her and were pretty much the last people through the finish line.  I was worried we would be on TV as the last group to come in, but, fortunately, even the press had gone home!” 

Nothing seems to stop Gussie’s Gang!