Researchers are getting closer and closer to finding cures and improving quality of life for breast cancer patients. We have seen those stories on the nightly news and via our social media channels. Earlier this year, Eric Parker of WFSB Channel 3, put the spotlight on Dr. Erin Hofstatter, a Yale oncologist and 2014 grant recipient in a nightly news medical report. That report makes us feel hopeful. At our May 8 annual meeting, TBBCF grant recipients, Dr. Heather Parsons (2017) and Dr. Adrienne Waks (2018) delivered hopeful messages about their TBBCF sponsored research to an audience of about 100 supporters.
That spurred our interest in looking for other reasons to feel hopeful. Over the next few months we will be sharing stories about past researchers, longtime sponsors, top fundraisers, volunteers, and walkers and how they embody HOPE.
We begin this month by introducing you to our 2018 Honorary Walk Chair, Johanna D’Addario. We also feature interviews with William Stanley, Vice President of Development & Community Relations, L+M Hospital and 12-year foundation sponsor and Jay Gionet, top fundraiser, math teacher and former TBBCF board member. We end by sending positive thoughts to 2017 featured hero, Aimee Reed who continues to battle stage IV cancer, never giving up hope and always trying to find a reason to smile.
Johanna D ‘Addario, a breast cancer survivor and advocate of knowing your family medical history, has been named the honorary chair of the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation’s 13th Annual Walk Across Southeastern Connecticut.
Johanna, who lives in Cromwell and is a physician assistant at Yale-New Haven Hospital, plans to walk a half marathon on Oct. 6 to raise money for TBBCF, which will go toward grants for cancer research. She will be joined by Dr. Erin Hofstatter, an oncologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital Cancer Genetics & Prevention Center, who was Johanna ‘s doctor as she faced breast cancer three years ago. Hofstatter is also a 2014 recipient of a $100,000 research grant from TBBCF. The two women are now colleagues and work with cancer patients at Yale. Click here for the full story.
Johanna’s story, in her own words
“October 25, 2014 was the best day of our lives: our wedding day. The only thing that could have made it better was if my Dad were there to walk me down the aisle. Instead, we placed a single white rose on his chair at the ceremony.
Inspiration for our newsletter banner was
Johanna and her mother’s artwork
I had already been seeing Dr. Hofstatter, my breast oncologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital Cancer Genetics & Prevention Center, for clinical breast exams. Although I had no family history of breast cancer, we knew that the CDH1 gene mutation is associated with 20-40% risk of lobular breast cancer. After a long discussion, we decided to go against the clinical guidelines for breast surveillance because of the high number of cancer cells that had been detected after my gastrectomy. So, we started at 30 instead of 35. In hindsight, Dr. Hofstatter’s willingness to start my breast imaging five years earlier than recommended was what caught my breast cancer at Stage I.” – Johanna D’Addario Click here for the full story.
L+M pledges to support TBBCF until cure is found
Bill Stanley at his L+M hospital office
When volunteers from the newly created Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation contacted Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in 2006 seeking financial support for its marathon fundraiser, the New London hospital had already cut back on giving to charitable organizations.
“At the time, everyone was doing a walk,” recalled William Stanley, Vice President for Development and Community Relations at the New London hospital. “I got the call, and I was trying to figure out how I was going to say no.”
But after a presentation by Sandy Maniscalco, Co-founder of TBBCF, and John LaMattina, President of Global Research and Development at Pfizer Inc. and a TBBCF board member, Stanley committed $2,500 to the fledgling non-profit and added TBBCF to the list of about 100 groups that L+M supports annually. The hospital has maintained that level of giving ever since, donating more than $30,000 over the years.
“The best thing that could happen is the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation goes out of business,” Stanley said. “But until that happens, we ‘ll continue to contribute.” Click herefor the full story.
He gets by with a little help from his friends
In the past, Jay Gionet has raised over $60,000 for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation. And he ‘ s not done yet.
During a two-hour walk-a-thon on Memorial Day Weekend, Gionet, a math teacher at Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford, along with 600 students and 50 teachers and faculty, raised over $25,000. Those proceeds were distributed to TBBCF and a half dozen other charities on Monday, June 18.
For Gionet, who lives in Niantic with his wife, Mary and 9-year-old daughter Olivia, it ‘ s all about giving back to the community.
Posted with permission from The Day with photo credit to Sara Gordon.
During 2017, Aimee Reed, marathoner, blogger and 2016 breast cancer awareness honoree wrote a blog for the TBBCF website documenting her journey living with stage IV/metastatic (inflammatory, triple negative, BRCA2+) breast cancer. Aimee was the 2017 featured Logan’s hero.
One of the many reasons people decide to write a blog is to build awareness and garner support for a cause or a passion. Some people’s passion and pain lean toward supporting a cause. Aimee’s reason has always been about awareness. Click here to follow Aimee on Facebook. Click here to read her latest post.
Aimee begins another clinical study on June 27. She always tries to find a reason to smile, and she never gives up HOPE.