WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange football came back from two back-to-back losses to take the win over Bloomfield, 39-0, at the annual “Pink Out for Breast Cancer Awareness” game held Oct. 25 in Suriano Stadium.
A halftime ceremony recognized Kelly Elementary School Principal Joanne Pollara as a breast cancer survivor and Bloomfield Athletic Director Steve Jenkins for his efforts to coordinate the annual “Cheer for a Cure” event.
“In the spring of 2014, I led a Relay for Life team from Pleasantdale — now Kelly — at West Orange High School,” Pollara said at the event. “I planned to walk in memory of my dad and in thanksgiving for my daughter, who had survived stage 4 lymphoma. The day before the Relay my doctor gave me the devastating news that I was to begin my own cancer journey.
“Throughout the summer and the following fall, there was surgery and treatments for breast cancer. I had to learn to ask for help, listen to my body and find my faith. I learned that some days I was stronger than I thought possible, and other days I was vulnerable and had difficulty finding my way. I learned that courage doesn’t mean that you are not afraid; it means being afraid and doing what you need to do anyway,” she continued. “Cancer has given me a greater appreciation for the people in my life, including my West Orange school family. They continue to walk beside me as my treatment continues, although less frequently now. They inspire me to be my best self and to keep hope in my heart. I cherish every day I have survived and thrived.”
The West Orange PAL cheerleaders joined the Mountaineers for special routines in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the marching band performed.
Photos Courtesy of WOSD