Native Bronxite Daniel Bernstein is working to encourage men to support women – and other men – in the fight against Breast Cancer.
Bernstein, deputy director of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District, is among some of the Bronx residents raising money for Real Men Wear Pink.
Real Men Wear Pink is a campaign by the American Cancer Society to encourage men to join in the fight against breast cancer.
Bernstein, who is on the Bronx advisory board for ACS, had a personal experience with breast cancer when his mom, Agnes Clemenson, was diagnosed and later passed away from the disease.
“My mom passed away when I was a teenager,” he said. “I remember watching my mom go through treatments, chemo and radiation.”
Bernstein added at one point his mother went into remission but the cancer returned.
He said his mother told him that she could “die peacefully” only after he got his high school diploma.
Three days after Bernstein graduated from St Agnes Boys High School in 1993, she passed away.
“She was the glue to my family,” he recalled.
Bernstein said when his mom was sick he had “always wanted to be involved” in the fight against breast cancer.
He wondered, “How can I help and raise money?”
Bernstein joined the ACS Bronx Advisory Board in 2008 and from there, he said, “I really started getting more and more involved.”
Bernstein is very proud of the Bronx’s progress in the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign.
All five boroughs are participating, but he said the Bronx has currently raised the most money for the campaign.
He estimated the number was at approximately $25,000 dollars.
Bernstein said it is “extremely important” for the men in a breast cancer patient’s life to be there to support them through their fight.
He added he remembered how his dad, who went through his own battles with skin and kidney cancer but survived, was there to help his mom.
Bernstein was also stressed that Real Men Wear Pink is not just about support of women.
“When people think of breast cancer awareness they think of women, but men also develop breast cancer,” he said.
In addition to his work with Real Men Wear Pink, Bernstein has also worked with the Cancer Action Network.
Cancer Action Network is a non-profit lobbying organization which works to get bills – put forth by ACS – signed into law that would benefit the treatment of cancer patients.
CAN has worked to make sure it’s members contact their local politicians to support the bill and has also marched on the capitol in Washington D.C. every September to raise awareness for the work the organization is doing.
Bernstein is hoping that his work is honoring his mother’s memory.
“I want the memory of my mom to never go away,” he said.
If you would like to donate to Real Men Wear Pink you can contact Daniel at dbern