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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Walk for cancer cure

Making Strides are SSEU Local 371’s Yvonne Mosquito, far left, with family and friends, including Jacqueline Johnson and Local 1549’s Adria Bernardez, at her Oct. 3 bake sale and at the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 11.

October was Cancer Awareness Month, but during a global pandemic that halted most social activities, Yvonne Mosquito, an SSEU Local 371 member and Children’s Services Community Coordinator, found a way to moved forward with friends and raise funds and awareness.

On Oct. 11, Mosquito rounded up nine coworkers and family to walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and raise money for Making Strides breast cancer awareness.

While official events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people still donated to the fight for a cure that funds research and provides services like meals and transportation for people undergoing breast cancer treatment.

“Breast cancer affects women and men,” Mosquito said. After losing her grandmother Wilhelmina Pinder to breast cancer in 1996, Mosquito, a 21-year ACS worker, became a regular participant in the annual Making Strides fundraiser.

“The nine of us walked with last year’s banner across the bridge from Brooklyn’s Tillary Street to Chambers Street in Manhattan and back,” Mosquito said. “Several people joined us as we walked. We wore our masks, and our pink!”

Mosquito’s coworkers included friends Jacqueline Johnson, an ACS Family Court worker, and Local 1549 member Adria Bernardez. Mosquito also held a bake sale outside her Bedford-Stuyvesant home. “All together we raised about $1,000,” she said. “I am personally motivated, and I walk to honor my grandmother. The more I can do to help find a cure, the better I feel. I’m helping the next generation.”

SSEU Local 371 President Anthony Wells said, “It’s heartwarming to see our members give of themselves in the midst of the pandemic. They are committed to raising awareness and the struggle to find a cure for breast cancer.”