TBBCF Annual Meeting Highlights
17th Annual Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation Annual Meeting highlights
By ELLYN SANTIAGO
With a packed agenda, the 17th annual meeting on May 9, began with remarks from TBBCF Foundation Executive Committee president Patti Burmahl, who shared Foundation history and information, highlighted by the news that, to date, some 60 research grants totaling $6 million have been funded. That work, she said, could not have been done without the “vision” of Sandy Maniscalco and Norma Logan.
“Without them, we would not be here today.”
All about the Walk
Next up was the latest on the Foundation’s signature event, the 18th Annual TBBCF Walk Across Southeastern CT, set for Oct 7. Registration is open for walkers, and volunteers, the backbone of nearly all the TBBCF work, are needed. Visit https://tbbcf.org/ to register to walk and volunteer early.
This year’s Walk Honorary Co-Chairs are Pamela Morris Watt and Shelley Gregory. With this year’s theme of Survivorship, they are not only top fundraisers, but they are also both 15-year survivors. Read their story
This year’s Walk Chair is Carley Warzecha. Read her story
The ‘little engine that could’’
Foundation Executive Committee treasurer Stacey Gualtieri shared lots of good financial news that included a number of record-breaking fundraising milestones, with the Foundation raising $500,000.
Gualtieri noted that of the $500,000, $100,000 was given by the estate of Sander “Sonny” Hendel, who passed away at age 91 in 2022. The highest single donation, at $100,000, represents a portion of the $234,000 he had given TBBCF over a number of years.
Gualtieri also noted that it’s important to recognize that the “small donations help to make up the big numbers. Of the $500,000, $80,000 was raised by community, business, and student fundraisers. They do it because they recognize what’s at stake,” she said.
‘It’s all about the research’
And 2022 was described as a record-setting year with a total of $500,000 raised, enough to fund five research recipients with a total of 10 years of research. Those recipients are:
Bruno Barufaldi, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
Megan Tesch, MD Dana-Farber Cancer Center
Marie Will, Ph.D. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Bogan Wu, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
Marla Lipsyc-Sharf, MD Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Massachusetts General Brigham
Dr. Lipsyc-Sharf was the Keynote Speaker for the 17th Annual Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation Board Meeting.
“It is such an honor to be awarded,” Lipsyc-Sharf said, noting that when she first learned about the Foundation, she “felt moved and connected in many, many ways.”
“The Foundation does such an amazing job of ensuring that the meaning behind this work is at the forefront of every initiative, of every donation, and every event. Everyone I’ve met at every level does not lose sight of why we walk and fundraise and develop and research; we spend all our nights in the lab. Everyone understands why we’re here, which is to eliminate breast cancer.”
It was a “personal connection” that led her to pursue breast cancer research. “My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34 when I was a young kid. Like many children of a patient with breast cancer, it turned our world upside down. The idea that your most beloved person could be gone from something truly outside your control is outrageous.”
And her connection to the TBBCF is partly geographical. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, she and her family spent their summers in Old Lyme, “Where my mom spent all of her summers since she was born.”
Her diagnosis did not stop them from coming to Old Lyme, where her mother would continue treatment at Middlesex Hospital.
“This was such a powerful motivator for me as a kid,” she recalled being scientifically curious growing up. In her keynote speech, Dr. Lipsyc-Sharf spoke with great specificity about her scientific breast cancer research: Optimizing Liquid Biopsy to Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence.
You can watch the live-streamed meeting along wit Dr. Lipsyc-Sharf speech at Watch Meeting Video.
You can view annual meeting photos at 2023 Annual Meeting Album. Photography credit to Jesse James, TBBCF 2023 Spring Graphic Arts/Media Intern – Three Rivers Community College.