© 2007 Ken Levinson
It is with a great sadness that we bid farewell to the amazing Pearl Griffith-Eccles, a longtime Komen Greater NYC volunteer, supporter and friend as well as a 43-year breast cancer survivor. Pearl passed away from chronic heart disease over the holidays.
We here at Komen Greater NYC will remember Pearl for her warmth, her beautiful smile, her reputation as a “fashionista,” and most importantly her tireless dedication to the Komen Greater NYC organization and the Komen promise to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease.
Pearl was a survivor was consistently unselfish, compassionate and zealous in assisting others to overcome breast cancer. A retired registered nurse, Pearl battled other serious health problems, including other forms of cancer. Throughout, she faced her illnesses with great bravery, refusing to be a victim. She continued to work while under treatment, serving as an inspiration to many colleagues who also faced health issues. Even once she retired, Pearl still provided love and support to people at the end of their lives, including patients with AIDS, late stage cancer and children with incurable diseases.
Pearl was an active volunteer for both Komen Greater NYC and SHARE, which is a supportive network and community of women affected by breast or ovarian cancer. For Komen Greater NYC, she found time to work on publicity and the Race for the Cure®, as well as serve on various Komen Greater NYC committees. She volunteered for the SHARE hotline for eight years.
She traveled to the Caribbean each year to educate women and girls about breast cancer. She also did cancer outreach at educational institutions, hospitals and corporations.
Nothing, including ill health, kept her from being there for others.
As one SHARE co-worker described her, Pearl is “a survivor who triumphed over her disease and other’s fears with grace and an open-hearted enlistment in whatever she could do to help others.”
The photo of Pearl at our 2007 Annual Awards Luncheon when she received the Jo’Ann Selkirk Award for volunteerism says it all - just look at her face and the smile she has for Maurice DuBois! Pearl was truly a remarkable person who was indeed beautiful inside and out.
Pearl will definitely be missed but she had a way of leaving an indelible impression on all who were fortunate enough to cross her path and, as such, she will never be forgotten.
Pearl’s son Kern has requested donations be made to Komen Greater NYC in her memory.