All of her life, Moira Downes-Sabo, 61, has been a "giver," as a special education teacher who cared deeply for her students during her more than 30-year career and as a devoted wife and doting mother of three children. But when she was blindsided in 2005 by a breast cancer diagnosis at 48, she learned how to receive.
"Everyone from my extended and immediate family to the Manhasset Women's Coalition Against Breast Cancer and the Coalition for Women's Cancers at Southampton Hospital wanted to help," said the resident of Manhasset and Southampton. "People were calling me asking how they could help and they were at my door. Food was waiting on my kitchen table for my kids to have dinner any night I had to go for chemo."
Once Moira recovered from her mastectomy and chemotherapy treatment, she began volunteering with the Coalition for Women's Cancers at Southampton Hospital, helping newly diagnosed patients navigate their cancer journey and supporting the organization's fundraisers. As a survivor of 13 years, Moira feels that along with her faith, family and friends, receiving help and giving back to others was an important source of strength for her.
In addition, her children also donated their time to the coalition. "My kids have grown up with community service," said Moira, who also serves as a board member for the coalition and Lucia's Angels, a Southampton support group for women with advanced cancers.