NYHQ celebrates life

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Curtis Sliwa, radio personality and founder of the Guardian Angels, recalled being shot four times in 1992, then he told of his more recent struggle — prostate cancer.

Sliwa was the keynote speaker at the New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) Celebration of Life, which sought to bring together cancer survivors who were once patients of the hospital and are either in, or on their way to being in, remission.

The event featured cancer information talks from some of the hospital’s doctors on how far treatment has come, along with tales from survivors.

AN emotional Helena Falletta, who only three weeks ago had surgery for stage-4 lung cancer, told the auditorium of fellow survivors about her several bouts with different cancers and how the staff at NYHQ had been there every step of the way.

“Since 2010, I have been fighting every day of my life,” she said.

Janice Zaballero, who survived her bought with breast cancer about 15 years ago and now works to help those who cannot afford screening or treatment, also spoke about the strength every one of the survivors had in making it through treatment.

“And I say to all of you, we are amazing,” Zaballero said to a roar of applause.

Sliwa, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, said the disease was something men shy away from discussing. He encouraged all men age 40 and up to get PSA testing and be more open to discussing the disease.