Shannon's Law: Making mammograms affordable to more women in New York

Stacey Sager Image
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Shannon's Law: Making mammograms affordable to more women in New York
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Stacey Sager has more on Shannon's law.

BABYLON, Suffolk County (WABC) -- Her family and friends knew her as a brave warrior.

Even in the midst of the fight for her life, Shannon Saturno made a video that went viral to raise awareness about the importance of getting screened for breast cancer.

Shannon was a school teacher from the town of Babylon and the daughter-in-law of our Eyewitness News photographer Tony Saturno.

She was only 29 and pregnant with her daughter, Siena, when diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.

The cancer took hold, and wouldn't let go.

"To lose my wife at 32 years old with a 2 and a half year old... nobody should have to do that, so this is a great start," said Kevin Saturno.

Shannon's family had every reason to feel proud Wednesday morning, after fighting for more than two years for passage of what has become known as Shannon's Law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law last week.

The law requires large group insurers in New York State to now cover annual mammograms for women over the age of 35, a change from age 40.

"At the end of the day, if you look at what's happening right here in front of us, you can't ignore the fact that women are dying very, very young," said Donna Cioffi from the advocacy group First Company Pink.

State Senator Monica Martinez, inspired as one of the bill's sponsors, got herself checked and is now following up on an abnormality in her breasts.

"If it weren't for you, I would not have known," she said to Shannon's family.

It is proof that good things CAN come from so much struggle. No doubt Shannon's family will continue saving other lives, despite their own immeasurable loss.

"Our lives have changed in ways that are unimaginable," said Shannon's father, Gene Romanchuk. "So hopefully something good comes from this."

WATCH: Family and advocates celebrate Shannon's Law


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