Chemo Buddies were all set to hold their annual Hopefest in early April, then COVID-19 hit and forced them to postpone the event. A rescheduled date was set for June with the hope the curve would be flattened and life would be back to some sense of normalcy. As we all know too well, that wasn't the case (and sadly still isn't), so the organization rescheduled again for September 19th. However, as the number of cases continued to rise across the Tri-State, it became painfully obvious they wouldn't be able to conduct the event as originally intended. So they decided to go the route several other annual walks have decided to go, they made it virtual, which allows you to participate on your own time wherever you can safely social distance.

The new, hopefully one-time, format comes with a couple of new additions. First, after registering through the Chemo Buddies website, download and print either the "In Honor Of," or "In Memory Of" flyer and write the name of the person you're walking for on whichever flyer applies. If you know one person currently battling cancer, and one who unfortunately lost their fight, print one of each and honor them both. Before or after you walk, shoot a video on your phone introducing yourself and who you're walking for. If video makes you a bit nervous, simply take a photo, and make sure your flyers, and more importantly, the names of the people on them, are clearly visible. Send your video or photo to Chemo Buddies through Facebook Messenger, or e-mail it to them at, and use the hashtag, #HopeIsNotCancelled. If you registered for the original, or June date, Chemo Buddies will be mailing you copies of each flyer, if they haven't already.

The second addition to the event isn't actually an addition, but like the walk itself, a tweak of one aspect of the festivities. The Survivor Parade, which honors both those currently battling cancer and those who have beat it, will be done "in reverse." It will take place at Friedman Park in Newburgh at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 19th, but instead of participants walking past the survivors, the survivors will stay in their cars and drive through the park while those of us that wish to be in attendance, stand along the side of path (safely socially distanced from each other, of course), wave, and shout or hold signs of love and encouragement to those individuals.

Register now and get your flyers through the Chemo Buddies website.

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