By: Benita Zahn
Encouraging and supporting - that's Jen Gough's coaching style with her divers at Bethlehem High School.
She knows the value of support for overcoming obstacles. She relied on support from family, friends and the American Cancer Society when she was diagnosed with breast cancer just about 8 years ago.
"That's part of what Making Strides is all about. Is that everyone is behind you, looking for a cure and that hope is out there and that's something that you can promise yourself and promise everyone else."
Making Strides the the annual fund and - awareness raiser sponsored by the American Cancer Society - and it's an event Jen's team takes part in, with their coach.
"We all love it" says diver Grace Ayer. "It's actually one of our favorite things to do. We all wear pink shirts. we all do it together.It's really fun."
It also helps this tightly knit group of young women recognize the value of having a strong role model.
"Knowing that a strong woman like our coach can, um, survive breast cancer leaves us a lot of hope for other women" says diver Laurie Zemering.
As for Jen, coaching is an extension of her outlook on 'living life' - that you have to be active.. especially when facing a health challenge like breast cancer.
"Exercise has really helped me to recover from cancer because it kept my body fit, in shape. And it makes me feel like I'm doing something to keep the cancer at bay. I'm cancer free and I attribute that to exercise and healthy living" says Jen with a laugh.
Add to that laughter and love, says Jen, to complete the prescription.
"That what I see every October.I see the hope for the future and getting rid of this disease."
To join Jen in that fight sign up for MAKING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST CANCER on October 21st in Albany's Washington Park.