The Buffalo News

Flower sale allows family to support cancer project

- – Scott Scanlon

It was bad enough that the polar vortex bore down on the region last Mother’s Day weekend. Linda Ganci might have been able to get through her favorite annual fundraiser anyway, while wearing a mask, if her overall health didn’t figure into the equation.

“When you have cancer, you have to be very careful with what you do and the places you go,” she said. “Having that issue during a pandemic is extremely difficult.”

Instead, her three daughters soldiered through without her during annual Geranium Sale pickup day, which benefits the Ovarian Cancer Project.

The project has been a godsend for the Ganci clan since ovarian cancer struck its family matriarch in summer 2016. The women see the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser as an important way to give back.

A yearly holiday gift-wrapping drive at Lord & Taylor, bowling party and several special dinners once bolstered the project’s bottom line. Those disappeare­d during the pandemic, and the department store closed.

That makes the flower sale this year vital to Ovarian Cancer Project operations.

Ordering takes place through Friday at ovariancan­cerproject.org or by calling 458-0382. The cost is $34.95 for a flat of 10 plants. Pickup runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 8 at several sites.

Jenna Rivera, a Buffalo Public

Schools teacher, found the project online a few months after her mother was diagnosed, and encouraged her to reach out for support.

“You kind of feel helpless watching your parent go through all the treatments,” she said. “You ask, ‘What can I do to help?’”

Project founder and leader Kathleen Maxian and other cancer survivors who participat­e in the organizati­on have provided the Ganci family with lots of solid guidance and support.

The sale was a perfect way to say thanks because Ganci loves to garden, said another daughter, Alissa Ganci, a Kenmore West High School math teacher.

Daughter Maria Ganci Colon, a respirator­y therapist, said she and her sisters also have attended support groups that encourage them to be honest and thoughtful with their mother, avoid telling her what they think she wants to hear, and take advantage of resources that can help the whole family.

The strength and encouragem­ent the project provides gives Linda Ganci the perspectiv­e to make each day count – and relish the special ones, including Geranium Sale pickup days with her daughters. They handle duties at Polish Cadets in Black Rock all by themselves.

“We’re all vaccinated now, so everybody can hug each other,” she said this week. “We got together for Easter and that was nice.”

They expect to do more hugging on Mother’s Day weekend.

 ??  ?? Linda Ganci and her daughters are cancer group volunteers.
Linda Ganci and her daughters are cancer group volunteers.

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