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Breast Cancer Activist

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Breast Cancer Activist

Lydia J. Cosumano (Huntsville Times)She spent most of her 63 years volunteering for community and causes, but when she received a diagnosis of stage-2 breast cancer in May 2000, Lydia J. Cosumano made awareness, detection, and finding a cure for breast cancer her focus. 

“First, she was taken aback that Walter Reed Army Medical Center didn’t have a breast care center,” according to the obituary that appeared in the Huntsville (Alabama) Times and Washington Post. “She, along with Dr. Craig Shriver and others, worked with Rep. Murtha of Pennsylvania to seek funding from Congress and in July 2001 they opened the Comprehensive Breast Care Center at Walter Reed. Lydia volunteered there often, telling others of her experiences and encouraging them.”

As the Army’s space and missile defense commander, her husband, Joe, “had research and development labs under Jesse Granone in Huntsville. Mr. Granone had sophisticated algorithms to pick targets out of clutter with radars. One day at a social, Lydia got Jesse Granone with Dr. Shriver from Walter Reed, which led to breast cancer research using those algorithms for detection of lumps.”

After Cosumano was diagnosed as having stage-4 cancer in 2009, she “continued to fight for a cure, participating in local fundraising events,” the obit said.

She died Sept. 21, 2011.


This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She was the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers before she passed away in 2015.