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May 28, 2013

Saranac native participates in Boston fundraiser

BOSTON — As a young woman, Amanda Durocher has learned that philanthropy and health care can often go hand-in-hand.

Durocher, who graduated from Saranac Central in 2007, became involved in supporting breast-cancer research while an undergraduate student at St. Lawrence University in Canton.

As a member of the Kappa Delta Sigma sorority at St. Lawrence, she participated in several fundraising activities for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Her caring spirit originates from a desire to help others, but some anxiety of her own about breast health makes that issue a personal one for her.

“I’ve had a benign breast condition since I was 15,” Durocher said recently from her apartment in Boston, where she is now pursuing a master’s degree in special education at Simmons College.

“I’ve had five benign breast tumors and four lumpectomies for removal of those tumors. Although the condition isn’t life threatening, it’s very bittersweet. 

“I feel very lucky that it’s not malignant, but at the same time, it kind of shakes you up.”

AVON FOUNDATION WALK

Breast-cancer research continues to be an important tool in improving the life-expectancy of women diagnosed with breast cancer, Durocher noted, and fundraising efforts to expand on that research have always motivated her to stay involved personally.

After graduating from St. Lawrence with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she immediately took a position at the New England Center for Children in Boston as a special-education teacher for youngsters with severe autism.

“They are the most wonderful people,” she said of her students at the New England Center. “They make every day really fun and rewarding.”

Durocher has remained committed to philanthropy and breast-cancer research, too. She recently participated in the Avon Foundation’s Avon Walk for Breast Cancer; she and two friends walked 39.3 miles over two days. 

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