by MIKE CHAIKEN
Sally Fordibussi walks on the sunny side of the street even though the shadows of life kept trying to her draw in.
The 46-year-old model and mother of four explained her motto is “Embrace each day and when life gives you lemons, invite God in and make lemonade.”
And life has offered her a good deal of lemons.
In May 2014, the teacher and coach suffered a traumatic injury when she was assaulted by a student. She is a triple negative breast cancer survivor since August 2015. Now, she has been cancer-free since March 2016.
Sally attributes her recovery to the glory to God. Now she said she shares hope with others as her community came together to help her and her family.
Now, after coming back from her misfortunes, she said she enjoys speaking with groups about hope and overcoming obstacles.
Sally said she understands disability. She loves to look at the abilities and friendship that each person can bring to the world while empowering others to know that they are worth life and love.
Nowadays, the New York resident enjoys walking in fashion shows. Working with former “American’s Next Top Model” Victoria Henley, Sally said she has walked in Henley’s Magnifique modeling competition. She has modeled in Tennessee and New York Fashion Week twice. She was a winner at the competition held this past August in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
In addition to modeling, Sally has taken great pleasure in competing in pageants. She has participated in the Mrs. New York America pageant for several years. She held the title of Mrs. New York for The Petite America Pageant in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, she was first runner-up and people’s choice award winner. She was Todays’ International Women’s 2017, New York Classy Mrs. and Todays’ Classy Mrs. The former teacher also has been Today’s International Women 2018, 2019, and 2020 New York Elite Mrs. She will be competing for the national title in June 2021. She is 2020 Mrs. New York World America and will be competing in August 2021 for the top title in Miami.
Sally has also done what she can to give back to the world.
Sally has volunteered for the American Red Cross, teaching CPR, AED and lifeguard training. She also helps the Red Cross with the organization’s Making Strides Walk and Relay for Life.
For eight years, Sally has mounted Ann’s 5K Race and Kids Fun Run for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. The annual event honors her family members Ann and Adam. With the help of her family and friends, her race has raised over $20,000 to date.
Last September, Sally created Gabriella’s Lemonade Birthday Bash Fashion Show, which raised $650 for childhood cancer. Sally put together a 5k race to add to the Tompkins County Relay for Life Hope Fest 2020.