By Rich Coutinho
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I have covered the Mets for over 20 years and as time passes by, people drift in and out of your life. But every once in a while, you work with people who you can tell right off the bat are special. Special is the way they care about others. Special in the way they go about their job. Special because they have an innate ability to make people feel good about themselves by their very presence.

Shannon Forde, who has worked in the New York Media Relations department since 1994 is one of those people.

When world filtered out that Shannon had been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, I was floored and my heart sank. On November 29th, there will be a benefit dinner for Shannon organized by her lifelong friends who know her so well. The event will be emceed by Ron Darling and will also feature an auction in which a plethora of sports items will be available to bid on. If you would like to donate money to the cause, all the info is on

Shannon has always done a great job of juggling the roles of mom, wife, and media professional — and always has time for others no matter what they need. Now is the time for us to help her in her time of need. No donation is too small because every dollar will help her in the treatment of her illness.

Spring training is one of my favorite times of the year because everything is so fresh and the slate is clean but also because you get to re-connect with the people you have not seen all winter whether they be your media colleagues, players, or the Mets front office staff. I always enjoy visiting with Shannon because she has such a positive outlook and an incredible sense of humor. She is also very good at her job helping us all with player availability for instance in an industry where not every media professional feels that way.

I can not tell you how many times she has personally helped me by just making my access to players seamless and easy. Simply put, she is one of the finest people I’ve ever met in the business. So, I implore all of my Met followers on both Twitter and to donate what you can to this very worthwhile cause.

And for the record, I know when I go to spring training I will see the smiling face of Shannon Forde letting me know baseball is back. That is always a day that the Port St. Lucie sun shines even brighter than usual.

Everyone at WFAN is wishing Shannon the best in her fight against breast cancer.

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