Breast cancer survivor honored for work in fighting to fund, research disease

Geri Barish says her advocacy began when her son, Michael, was diagnosed with cancer.

Cecilia Dowd

Oct 2, 2023, 10:29 PM

Updated 202 days ago

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Geri Barish, a breast cancer survivor and activist, was honored Monday with a lifetime achievement award. Suffolk County legislators, Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel and others honored the five-time cancer survivor for her work educating the public about cancer and fighting for funding and research.
The Baldwin resident, who had breast cancer three times, has spent years battling what she calls her “war on cancer,” and says she continues to be at war with it. Barish says her advocacy began when her son, Michael, was diagnosed with cancer. He died when he was 25 years old.
The award was presented on the second day of breast cancer awareness month. “It’s a wonderful honor,” Barish said. “It makes me feel people understand a lot of what we’ve done, or at least they look at it and say, ‘OK, we’ve come this far.’” Barish said while we’ve come a long way, there’s still more to be done. She says the real ‘lifetime achievement’ will be when a cure is found.
Barish is executive director of Hewlett House, a community resource center for all cancers. According to its website, the Hewlett House’s mission is to “support cancer patients at every stage of treatment.” The site says patrons have access to a network of cancer survivors and their families, educational materials and research on different treatments and access to peer-reviewed doctors, oncologists and specialists. Barish says education is the key in the fight against cancer.


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