GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has named Karla Knight as October’s Citizen of the Month Award winner.
Knight, a mother of four from New Windsor, had a double mastectomy after cancer was discovered in both of her breasts last year. She is now a breast cancer awareness advocate, and bravely shared her story with guests at the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kickoff Breakfast in August.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, an annual campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its causes, as well as prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.
“Many of us have been affected by breast cancer in some way and Karla’s strength and courage is an inspiration and gives hope,” Neuhaus said. “We are grateful for the work that she does with the American Cancer Society to promote awareness about this disease. I was proud to recognize Karla and learn more about her story. Like Karla, the County is committed to raising awareness about breast cancer.”
Knight found a lump in her right breast in June of last year. She said her doctor was not concerned because she was 38 at the time. However, after Knight underwent a mammogram and a sonogram, doctors had a biopsy scheduled for the next day.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer a week later. According to Knight, an MRI discovered a lump in her left breast while she was undergoing treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Knight’s family did not have a notable history of breast cancer, but she decided to undergo a double mastectomy. During her chemotherapy sessions, Knight attended a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk last October. She said she was uplifted by the camaraderie and support at the event.
In part, the walk inspired her to become an advocate and share her story. Knight has also shared her experiences in Sloan Kettering publications.
“When I was diagnosed, I started hearing from other women who were not undergoing breast cancer screening and check-ups,” Knight said. “I realized that breast cancer and the importance of early detection needed to be brought to the forefront. We think about our jobs, our schedules, our families and everything else before ourselves. I thought about what my life might be like if I hadn’t seen a doctor and wanted to make sure that breast cancer is a topic that continues to be discussed I’m appreciative that County Executive Neuhaus is recognizing my story and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
Knight is now cancer-free and is looking forward to this year’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, which will be held on Sunday, October 20th at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Individuals, companies, friends and neighbors can register online at www.makingstrideswalk.org/hudsonvalley. There is no fee to register, though contributions and donations are greatly appreciated..