2015 Pink Ball Honorees
Caroline Ferrante is the first of our two amazing women we are honoring this year. Caroline, a Framingham resident, is the wife to Rob, and the mother of two young children, Sophia and Joseph. Caroline’s Stage I cancer was found after a routine mammogram, and she has already undergone two surgeries and chemotherapy treatment. She is still receiving radiation to rid her of this terrible disease. Although Caroline’s prognosis looks good, as we all know, cancer of any type carries with it a huge emotional and physical burden that can last a lifetime. Caroline is a fighter and winner and we are honored to be helping her out in her journey.
Meet our second honoree, Donna Pyne. We found out about Donna from two of our honorees from last year. Donna, a friend of Julie Cowern, and cousin of Jessica Leip has some amazing women to guide her in her journey. Donna, another local honoree, was born and raised in Natick and now a resident of Ashland, she is also a long time employee at Middlesex Savings Bank, so you just may recognize her! Donna is a wife and a mother to twins; son Tyler and daughter Jordan. They found Donna’s tumor during her routine mammogram in December. There are two known lumps and she has a current diagnosis of Stage 1-2. Donna has been facing chemotherapy and other hormone treatments since her diagnosis in January and her mastectomy is scheduled for July where she will find out if the cancer has spread and what additional treatments she may need. With her supportive family by her side, Donna is taking it all in stride and keeping a positive attitude. We are happy to be able to help Donna and her family at the beginning stages of this journey as we know it can be a long one!
2014 Pink Ball Honorees
Meet Julie Cowern, a 40 year old mother of 2 adventurous young boys ages 9 and 7, and wife to Pete. Julie is a life long resident of Ashland and a Medway kindergarten teacher, who is now on medical leave focusing on her battle against breast cancer. Julie found her lump in July of last year, by chance, just scratching a typical itch and noticed something wasn’t right. After many pokes, prods, and tests, on August 16th, Julie found out she had stage 2 breast cancer. Julie has had a tough journey so far with several surgeries, chemo, radiation, and more surgeries to come. Julie has faced every obstacle strong willed and head on, a true warrior in the battle. On many occasions she may have felt too tired or sick to even get out of bed, but Julie has stayed strong for her family, and has never let them down. After meeting Julie, you will immediately see that she is a strong, caring, beautiful woman who loves her family and her life and isn’t going to let cancer stand in her way!
This is Jayme Robertson, born and raised in New York City. After attending grad school at BU for Deaf Education, she became a transplant and settled here with her husband John and now her 2 daughters Olivia, 6, and Sophie, 18 months. When Jayme is not kicking cancer’s ass, she is a devoted and respected teacher the Early Childhood Center at the Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham where she has a 14 year tenure. Jayme found her cancer while breastfeeding Sophie and after the series of biopsies, mammograms, ultrasounds and question marks that most breast cancer survivors can relate to, she was diagnosed with a stage 2 breast cancer. She continued to breast feed right up until she started her chemotherapy, even surprising the staff at St Elizabeth’s/Dana Farber by requesting a breast pump in the recovery room after her mastectomy. Her cancer is quite aggressive and thereby so is her chemo. She is enduring some grueling treatments now and for the next 14 months, and with dwindling sick time and the expenses of cancer adding up, this absolute warrior is such a deserving honoree. She is smart, interesting, loving, and disarmed us with her gorgeous smile and amazing outlook on life, cancer and keeping it real.
Jess is an Ashland resident, a nurse, a mother, a wife, has Stage 4, terminal cancer and is only 37 years old. Since Thanksgiving, Jess has been through a lot. Jess officially earned Brady Bunch status when she and her boyfriend Scott finally sealed the deal. Congrats to Jess and Scott! Since that time, Jess has also had surgery to insert a port into her chest so that treatment is “easier”. Easier for who right? I think the best way for us to give you a sense of who Jess is, is to give you an excerpt from her blog.
Living with metastatic breast cancer is tough. I have good days and bad days. On a bad day, I’m lying down watching my kids play. On a good day, I forget that I have terminal cancer. I fight through the pain and disabilities every single day, I never get a break. I could easily give in, but as far as I am concerned that is not an option for me. My kids deserve a mother who can care for them and give them everything they need. My husband deserves a wife who can harass him for loading the dishwasher the wrong way. People need me around and I intend to fight until I cannot fight any longer. Things change when you get a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. I used to have dreams that I know I can no longer achieve but I have made new ones. I know that I can no longer be the person that I was but I am not unhappy by any means. If I can help another person by giving them hope then that gives me part of the fuel that I need to continue this fight. My family is obviously the engine behind me. I truly believe that my positive outlook and lifestyle have a significant impact on how I cope with living with this disease. I know there is no cure. Imagine living with something that is staring you in the face every single day and trying to prevent you from living your life with any kind of normalcy and you knowing that there is NO cure. It is going to take your life eventually. Try to imagine that. If I wasn’t living it, I don’t think I could imagine it. Especially being a mother of young children, I wouldn’t want to imagine it.
2014 Thanksgiving Day Honorees-
Our 2014 honoree, Debbie Postizzi, has a very special place in our hearts, as she is the mother of our favorite handy man, Dave Appleton, and soon to be mother-in-law to MWBC’s amazing friend, Kristin Gerard.
For those of you who don’t know, Kristin and Dave had their “first date” two years ago at MWBC’s 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Day fundraiser in 2012. Now, just 2 years later, they are engaged and ready to take the plunge this spring (you’re welcome).
When we learned that Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months ago, we thought it only fitting that we honor her at our 2014 event. Debbie has two kids and 5 grandchildren and more fight in her than a room full of bootcampers. She was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and is currently undergoing grueling chemo treatments. She is a life long Framingham resident and an absolute sweetheart behind that warrior exterior and we are honored to help her in her fight.
Our second honoree, Kelly Sansossio, had two big surprises this year, the first was that she found out she was pregnant with her 3rd child, the second was that 11 weeks into that pregnancy she found out she had stage 2 breast cancer. Fast forward to today. Kelly and her husband welcomed Camilla “Milly” to their family. Milly joined her 2 big brothers, Grady and Griffen, and is the spitting image of her warrior Mom, Kelly. Kelly started chemo while just 16 weeks pregnant with Milly and continues treatment and will until Milly is around 1 year old. Kelly grew up in Natick and lives in Norfolk with her family. We had lunch with Kelly and we all sat in awe of her matter-of-fact attitude and humor about life, kids and kicking cancer’s stupid ass so she can get on with living. She truly reminded us of what being thankful is all about. To read more about Kelly’s journey with cancer you can visit her Caringbridge site.
2013 Pink Ball Honorees
2013 Thanksgiving Day Honorees
Jessica is a mother, a nurse, a girlfriend, a sister, and a daughter. Jessica is a long time resident of the Metrowest area. She grew up in Natick and is now living in Ashland with
her two beautiful daughters, Hannah, five, and Izzy, three, as well as her amazing and supportive boyfriend, Scott. In July of this year, Jess found a lump the size of a lemon in her breast.
Her inital diagnosis was stage 2b breast cancer, but the cancer is an aggressive form and quickly spread to her liver. Jessica now has Stage 4 cancer, is
undergoing some really intensive chemo treatments, and is fighting a great fight! Jess has such a positive outlook and amazing attitude, and we are so honored to have crossed paths with her. We are so excited for our bootcamp family to meet her too! If you want to read more about Jess and her journey, check out her blog!
This is Caryn, a Framingham resident, teacher for the Weston public schools, a wife, a mother, and a beloved sister of one of our bootcampers. She is pictured here with her two adorable daughters. In December, it’ll be one year since Caryn’s journey with breast cancer begin. A journey that started with an initial diagnosis of Stage 0 non-invasive ductal carcinoma insitu, and quickly turned to Stage 2 breast cancer after 2 tumors were found during her mastectomy, and they found the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. Caryn has had a long year of treatments and surgeries, and continues to fight hard against this horrible disease. Caryn is determined and strong willed and is eager to get her life and freedom back. We are so happy to have found such an amazing and deserving woman. If you would like to learn more about Caryn, check out her Caring Bridge site.