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SLIDE SHOW: United Messengers of Peace 2nd Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Flag Raising

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PERTH AMBOY – United Messengers of Peace Founder Stephanie Márquez Villafañe held her Second Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Flag Raising Ceremony on 11/5/16 The flag that was raised was personally designed by Stephanie.

Stephanie chose to highlight lung cancer first in 2015 because it personally affected her and her mom when a loved one (Raul Torres) who succumbed to lung cancer. Torres was a Board of Trustee Member of the United Messengers of Peace.

Some of those in attendance were invited by Stephanie to make remarks.

Council President Lisa Nanton  said, “I want to congratulate you (Stephanie Márquez Villafañe) on the attention that you brought to this disease. The most important natural thing that we have to preserve is the air. It’s something that we all share.”

Councilman Joel Pabon wanted to applaud Stephanie and the Police Chaplains who were present. “We know of at least one person or someone connected to a person who has died from  lung cancer. Millions are diagnosed each year. Lung cancer is curable but hard to detect. Within a year after a person is diagnosed with this disease, they will succumb to it. I will continue to do anything I can to support you. Thank you Stephanie for all that you do.”

Sharon Hubberman thanked the Messengers of Peace, Stephanie and Stephanie’s Mom, Nilda Rivera,who is always there to support her daughter. Hubberman said, “This illness incapacitates people. Once you are too far gone with this disease, it’s hard to find out what was the cause. I applaud Stephanie and her mom for bringing awareness to this disease. I hope your movement continues to grow and you can count on me.”

Mayor Diaz spoke next, “We have to step back and remember why Stephanie started this campaign. It was because of a special man who loved you and your mom. It’s in his memory. You loved him and you lived it and remembered those last days with him.”

Mayor Diaz also mentioned Ed Troche, who was in attendance at the Flag Raising Ceremony along with his daughter, Kelly Marie. “Ed lost his wife to lung cancer in mid-November 2013. Ed, I want to thank you for keeping that loving memory alive,” Diaz said.

When Stephanie came up to speak, she mentioned about different months that brought different awareness to different forms of cancer such as breast and prostate cancers. “November was designated Lung Cancer Awareness Month. I want to thank the Mayor and Governor Christie who officially proclaimed November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month. I thank the Auxiliary Police Officers who were there to assist them in raising the flag.”

Stephanie reported the grim statistics about lung cancer. “There are more cases of lung cancer then breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. Some who are diagnosed with this disease never smoked. Babies are affected by this disease and they have been exposed to an environment of smoke.”

“Another grim statistic is that non-smokers are just as at risk of this disease as smokers. It is the most under funded cancer research in the world.”

After the ceremony was completed, refreshments were held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church hall on Rector Street.

Also in attendance were Councilman Fernando Gonzalez, Police Chaplain Bernadette Falcon-Lopez and Enid Crespo. Prayers were offered by Police Chaplain Aisha Santiago.

For more information about this event or about any future events held by the United Messengers of Peace contact Stephanie at 732-395-7371 or email unitedmessengers08861@gmail.com

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