My name is Donna and I am a breast cancer survivor. My journey with cancer began in 2005 when my husband Peter was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. In Feb of 2009 I was diagnosed with stage 2 Breast Cancer. I also lost my courageous warrior Pete to the battle in July 2009, but I will never forget the role that the Breast Cancer Survival Group played in bringing comfort and support to me along with Cancer Care in Norwalk, CT.
I met Nina Marino,LCSW, Clinical Director of the Breast Cancer Survival Group 5 years ago and since then I have developed both a professional relationship with her and have also become friends with her. Through Nina and that organization I have met so many wonderful women who I look forward to seeing at our gatherings. I remember my first meeting was at a Retreat in Darien, CT for a weekend. It was so memorable for me to have this quiet time with women that were going through cancer. From then on our meetings at the Norwalk Community College, the Wilton Library and at one time a lingerie shop in Westport have been so inspiring for me. Nina always arranges to have experts in the field of cancer speak at a gathering. Whether it is a nutritionist, oncology doctor, a lady from YALE who does special bra sizing or the latest a wonder lady who is an artist and does nipple tattooing it is always an exciting agenda and well planned. I remember also we use to meet at Panero Bread on occasion for a dinner. A couple of years ago we had a GALA evening in Westport with a dinner, and nice presents that were donated by local organizations for a fund raiser. There was another opportunity for me to make more friends.
Along with the Breast Cancer Survival Group when I was first diagnosed I met with an oncology social worker at Cancer Care. I received counseling and some financial support from this organization. I feel so fortunate to have had the constant support of both of these fine organization during the cancer experience. My life has completely changed because of this disease, but thanks to the Breast Cancer Survival Group and Cancer Care I have the support I needs, and hope for the future.
The PINK PORTRAIT is so much fun and so nice I got to meet Caliegh and sister and Mom (a cancer survivor) and be a part of a memorable function this past summer. I loved the opportunity to be part of a photo shoot where I was able to bring my pet DeeDee, who is a beautiful cockatiel to a fun filled day at the Wilton Library where I first met Caliegh and her family. As a memory of this I will be getting a great picture of DeeDee and myself and had a chance to also talk to the media!! The photographer was also awesome!
I am a strong and very positive lady because of the women I have met. I always look forward to giving back as much as I can to the Connecticut community and to honor the legacy of my husband, Peter.