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We walk to remember. We walk to honor. We walk to celebrate.

Above all, we walk because we want to ensure that patients at the Carl & Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center have access to the critical support services they need at no cost to help them navigate their cancer journey.

Meet some of the extraordinary people who are bringing hope to our patients through the Hope in Motion Walk:


Michelle Matzelle: Keeping Isabella’s Memory Alive — Forever

When Michelle Matzelle’s mother, Isabella, was diagnosed with colon cancer, she set a goal: she wanted to fight the disease long enough to meet her grandchildren.

Isabella reached her goal because of the care and expertise provided by the Bennett Cancer Center. The exercise and nutrition programs offered to Isabella’s mother through money raised by the Hope in Motion Walk helped her stay strong during her treatments.

Today, Michelle honors her mother’s legacy through “Isabella Forever” — the Hope in Motion team that helps ensure more patients with cancer will have the opportunity to spend quality time with those they love.

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Greg Kait: Helping Cancer Patients Recover

Greg Kait knows the physical, mental and emotional toll it takes to be a cancer patient, survivor and caretaker. He walks to help lessen that toll — raising money to ensure that patients at the Bennett Cancer Center can make it to and from their treatments and can get services that help in their recovery.

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Crystal Bowles: Honoring Her Parents

Crystal Bowles participates in the Hope in Motion Walk to honor the memory of her parents — both of whom fought the disease.

Crystal recalls walking through the halls of the Bennett Cancer Center and finding inspiration in the ringing of the bell signifying another cancer survivor.

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Lauren O’Keefe: Supporting her Patients at the Bennett Cancer Center

For the last 22 years, Lauren O’Keefe has worked as an APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) at the Bennett Cancer Center. Lauren has seen firsthand how costly cancer treatment can be and she walks to support her patients and help provide critical support services to those most in need.

Each year at the Hope in Motion Walk, Lauren has the opportunity to reconnect with former patients — many of whom are walking to celebrate the successful completion of their treatments.

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Alyson Schroeder: Uplifting Others in Honor of Her Mother

Each spring, Alyson Schroeder looked forward to joining her mother in downtown Stamford for the Hope in Motion Walk.

Together, they would walk and raise money for patients at the Bennett Cancer Center — not knowing that one day Alyson would be caring for her mother as she was undergoing her own treatment at the Center.

After the loss of her mom, Alyson wanted to continue to help cancer patients, because in her eyes, the money raised for the Hope in Motion Walk helps those undergoing treatment in important and practical ways.

While she cannot bring her mother back, Alyson says it’s meaningful to help patients just like her.

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Bonnie Gentile: Giving Back to the Community

Every June, Bonnie Gentile is deeply moved when participants in a sea of colored t-shirts step across the start line for the Hope in Motion Walk.

Bonnie lost both of her parents to cancer. This loss impacted her in many ways. It’s a big reason why giving back through the Walk is so rewarding for her.

Bonnie has worked at the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center since it opened in 1992. Since then she has seen the incredible impact programs funded through the Hope in Motion Walk have had in the lives of patients.

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Cecelia Price: Inspired by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center Integrative Programs

Cecelia Price sees the impact of the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center integrative programs whenever she reads a patient testimonial.

She interacts with patients at work at the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center, and at the registration table for the Hope in Motion Walk each year.

These integrative programs are funded through the Hope in Motion Walk and provide services like lunch and transportation at no charge to patients.

Cecelia says funding these programs and being able to give back to patients is her motivation.


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Alessandra Reyes: Touched by Ovarian and Stage IV Bone Cancer

Alessandra Reyes knows how difficult navigating cancer can be as she has witnessed her sister’s fight against stage IV bone cancer and lost her aunt to ovarian cancer.

 Alessandra supports the Hope in Motion Walk because she enjoys making memories with others fighting for the same cause.

To her it’s rewarding creating positive ripples in the universe by supporting those who need it most through fundraising to support integrative services for cancer patients at the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center.

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