GLEN ROCK, N.J. – Darlene Polulak Lucchi of Glen Rock has always remained optimistic during her most trying times.
Having beaten cancer twice, the mother of three is taking on a new challenge.
Believing that pollution “has to have some sort of impact” in causing cancer, Lucchi, 45, is working for Viridian, a third-party, green energy supplier.
It all started with a March 2013 diagnosis of thyroid cancer.
Although subsequent surgery and recovery stopped the Ridgewood native from teaching yoga, she was back at it four months later, opening Ho-Ho-Kus Yoga.
Then came breast cancer.
"It was almost like I was expecting it," Lucchi said of her February 2014 diagnosis. "I honestly knew it."
Even though it was only in one breast, Lucchi opted for a double mastectomy.
Recovery was slow. Lucchi slept in a recliner for two months and couldn’t drive for several weeks.
Luckily, she had her family to fall back on.
Her sister, Holly, moved in upstairs with their mother, Snooky. Holly brought her two children, 10-year-old Ben and Gavin, 7.
Together, they helped care for Lucchi and her youngsters: Tyler (10), Maya (8) and Brielle (5).
“[They] made all the difference in the world,” Lucchi said. “I couldn’t have done it without their help. It literally took a village.”
Her business partner bought her out that September, but a brief stint in an office job rekindled the drive. So Lucchi launched a business to help working moms.
“I would go to [a customer’s] house, clean up the kitchen, straighten up, load and unload the dishwasher, get the crockpot going for dinner, then set the table,” she said. “In theory, I thought it was a great idea, [but] I’m not a chef.”
The opportunity with Viridian is proof that, with the support of loved ones, you can overcome any obstacle, Lucchi said.
“You need to have a positive mindset that this is just a glitch in the road.”
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