Cancer survivor founds Paddle For The Cure
by Michael Perlman
Feb 05, 2019 | 3647 views | 0 0 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Leah Salmorin
Leah Salmorin
Flushing resident Leah Salmorin is the founder of Paddle For The Cure (PFTC), a nonprofit determined to strike out breast cancer.

“I left the corporate world for the love and humanity and formed my charity, which was my calling in exchange for the gift of life,” said Salmorin, who is a cancer survivor.

The non-profit’s mission is to create a sisterhood of breast cancer survivors to raise money for cancer research through paddling and other events.

The group has a several events planned, including Bowl For Cure in partnership with Women In Lighting & Design at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square on March 25. Money raised will benefit patients of The Hope Pavilion Cancer Clinic.

And the PFTC 2019 Kickoff will be held on June 8 at the World’s Fair Marina in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. For more information, visit

Salmorin said PFTC is built on the concept that “water is life.”

“As a swimmer I pour all the negative energy in the water, and when I step out I feel renewed,” she said. “Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at University of British Columbia, concluded that women who paddle showed improved physical and mental health with no recurrence of lymphedema, since paddling increases flexibility, aerobic capacity, and strength.”

Salmorin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and told she had six months to live.

“I was in Florida at the time, and when I felt a lump on my left breast I flew back to New York for a checkup,” she said. “After being diagnosed, I was drowning in a deep ocean and felt so alone and in desperate need of help.”

Salmorin underwent treatment through October 2009. Fifteen years later, she is in remission

“I told myself I will not allow cancer to ruin my life,” she said. “Attitude is everything. I program myself by having a clear mindset and full voltage, especially in the morning, as it plays an important role to start my day right.

“Every morning I open the shades, look up at the sky, and thank God for everything,” Salmorin added.

To maintain a healthy body and state of mind, Salmorin swims, bikes, does yoga and acupuncture, and serves as a lector at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Joan of Arc.

“Life needs to be balance, and if your body is thirsty for something, go for it,” she said. “I surround myself with like-minded people that can smile to the world, and I ignore people that have negative attitudes, since it’s not good for my immune system.”

Salmorin was featured in the book “Faces of Inspiration,” which highlights breast cancer stories. Her story is titled “Humility and Faith.”

“Through some government workers, I learned to be humble, diplomatic, and forgiving of their insensitivity,” it reads. “My faith in God comforted me. With him beside me nothing is impossible.”

The PFTC team participates in the New York City Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, but Salmorin hopes to travel to out-of-town races.

“I am thankful for each day that I can feel the air coming out of my nose and knowing my purpose of existence on this planet,” she said. “With the love of my family and friends who support me, that gives me the courage to keep moving forward and bring PFTC to the next level.”
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