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A gift from the James W. O’Brien Foundation will fund full tuition, room and board at Merrimack for Lynn scholars.
The biggest crowd in memory attended the 8th annual Pink Duck Release for Breast Cancer Awareness at the Mendel Center pond. Organizers raised about $450 toward the fight against breast cancer by selling pink ducks, said Sarah Fabianski, a master’s degree student in higher education who helped organize the event.
Engram, a sophomore psychology major, said her mother underwent surgery in April and was diagnosed as cancer-free in June.
After sharing her story, Engram walked away from the podium and gave her mother a hug. “It was really emotional,” she said afterward. “I love being able to share (her mother’s story) with people.”
Men and women are susceptible to breast cancer, said Brenda Holt, a nurse at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen. Women should start having mammograms when they are 40, unless they have a history of breast cancer in their families and then they should start at 35, Holt said.
“It’s important that we report any signs of any changes in our bodies immediately,” she said. “Nobody needs to be afraid because cancer is very treatable today.”
Organizers sold ducks for $1 each, or $5 for a legacy duck. People who bought legacy ducks got to keep them and ducks will be released every year in their names, Fabianski said — “to leave their mark on the program.”
More than 50 people attended the duck release, which included a blessing by Fr. Raymond Dlugos, a silent walk across the Moseley Iron Arch, and remarks by Engram, Holt and Fabianski before the ducks were set free on the pond.
“I loved being part of putting it together for all of you,” Fabianski told the crowd.