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Women With Will: Connie Dwyer on Her Cancer Experience and Creating Her Breast Cancer Foundation

After being treated for breast cancer herself, Connie Dwyer noticed how hard it was for underprivileged women to deal with the disease, so she became part of the solution. READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE>  

Thank you to the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation

For cancer patients in active treatment, Covid – 19 has been extremely difficult to deal with, Especially for those who are facing financial difficulties. At Curémonos, we know exactly what they are going through as we continue to support them in their journeys. All of these patients were already struggling financially before the pandemic and their situation has only worsen due to the reduction of services and resources available at their hospitals and in their communities. They are not only battling breast cancer, but they are also struggling with financial difficulties and the uncertainty brought by the pandemic.

We would like to express our gratitude to The Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation for their generosity in providing ShopRite cards. With their support, we were able to help nine breast cancer patients from Trinitas Hospital, Overlook Hospital and Morristown Hospital. The ShopRite cards were distributed as follows:

Dr. Cholankeril picked up ShopRite cards for four of her neediest breast cancer patients. All of her patients are undergoing chemotherapy treatment and their financial situation makes it extremely difficult to cope with their day-to-day lives. Their stories are as follows:

• Beverly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. She lost her job and house shortly after her diagnosis. She had to live in a hotel with her children for two years. Despite all of her difficulties, Beverly is extremely grateful to be alive.
• Regina was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer on February 5, 2019. Shortly, after her diagnosis, she lost her job and has not been able to obtain disability benefits. Although her husband works, the loss of her income has put a strain in their financial stability.
• Omaira was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 71 in January of this year. Due to her age and financial difficulties, it has been extremely difficult for Omaira to cope with her diagnosis and treatment. Although she lives with her sister, her sister lost her babysitting job due to the pandemic. Omaira will be using her ShopRite cards to buy food and much needed medication.
• Virginia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. She is a single mom with three young children. Due to her treatment, Virginia has not been able to work and must rely on the limited support provided by her family. Virginia has been our client since December 2019.

Since the majority of these patients are new clients for Curémonos, we secured other sources of financial support to help them during this very difficult and uncertain time.  Sandra was first diagnosed with early stage, triple negative breast cancer in 2013. She completed her treatment in 2014 and was cancer free for a couple of years. After the birth of her son in 2017, she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, which had metastasized to her stomach and liver. Due to the harsh chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Sandra is unable to work. She is married with four children and her family lives on a limited income. Since her husband’s hours were reduced at work due to Convid – 19, she has had to rely on the support of her family. Unfortunately, her family is also struggling financially so their support is very limited.

At the age of twenty-nine, Ashley was diagnosed in September 2019 with an aggressive type of breast cancer. She is a single mom of a four-year-old daughter. She completed several rounds of chemotherapy, which was followed by surgery. She is currently undergoing radiation treatment. Due to the harsh chemotherapy treatments, she had to stop working. Although Ashley is eager to go back to work, it has been extremely difficult for her to find a job due to the pandemic and her ongoing cancer treatment.

At the age of thirty-five, Digna was diagnosed in January 2020 with stage IIIB, triple negative breast cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment and is scheduled for surgery in August. She lives with her husband and two young children. Unfortunately, her husband was furloughed due to Convid – 19. The loss of income has put a financial strain on the family. She has had to rely on food pantries to feed her family. Therefore, she was extremely grateful to be one of the beneficiaries of the ShopRite food cards as she was able to buy groceries for her family during the Memorial Day weekend.

Alison was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in June 2019. Due to the severity of her condition, she lost her consulting job shortly after her diagnosis. It has been a constant financial struggle for Alison and she was hoping to secure a part-time job at the beginning of the year to supplement her disability benefits. Unfortunately, Convid – 19 has put a hold on her dreams to regain financial stability. Despite all of the difficulties, Alison has a positive attitude and is extremely grateful for all of the support provided by Curémonos and other foundations. The following is her testimonial:

“It was fun and always a pleasure to see you today as we did our social distance air hugs. Once again, a great BIG THANK YOU for the Shoprite Gift Card. Your timing is impeccable. What a thoughtful surprise! The end of month always proposes a challenge as cash on hand ends and bills for the coming month begin — it is a continuous cycle. Your generous gift helps me to purchase food items and free up cash on hand for other necessities. Thank you for thinking of me.”

We also helped Natalie who was diagnosed in 2019 with stage II breast cancer at the age of thirty. She was diagnosed while doing her medical residency program at the local hospital. She is married and has a five-year-old daughter. Her husband is a full-time caregiver to their daughter since he also faces his own health issues. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012. Although It has been a very difficult journey for Natalie, she is committed to use her personal experience with breast cancer to help others and to pay it forward to help those in need.

Since the majority of these patients will continue to receive treatment for the remainder of the year, we will continue to provide support through our various programs. For those, who will be in active treatment in December, they are also going to benefit from Curémonos’ Holiday Cheer Program.

Once again, we are extremely grateful to The Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation for their generous gift and for allowing us to make a difference in the lives of those in need during this very uncertain time.

ASPIRE Heritage Designer Showhouse in Bernardsville, NJ benefits CDBCF

It’s rare to get to see the work of celebrated designers in real life—which is why we love designer showhouses so much. They provide an opportunity for designers to show off their creative chops (often within extremely limited time frames) and for visitors to get up close and personal with interiors. This year, Aspire Design and Home was set to host the Bernardsville Designer Showhouse in New Jersey, to benefit the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation. The event’s roster of designers had worked hard on transforming the Gothic-meets-Arts-and-Crafts-style parish house of St. Bernard’s church, designed by architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh (best known for New York’s Plaza Hotel and iconic Dakota apartment building), when the coronavirus pandemic forced the showhouse to shutter its doors. Luckily for us, though, the designers are offering an exclusive tour to House Beautiful—and it’s chock-full of great design ideas. Take notes—and, if you feel so inclined, consider a donation to the Foundation, which will miss out on proceeds from the showhouse’s ticket sales.

9 Genius Design Lessons From the Bernardsville Designer Show House…READ MORE >

 

The Opening Gala of ASPIRE DESIGN and HOME magazine

DUE TO AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION IN REGARD TO THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, ASPIRE HOUSE: THE HERITAGE AT CLAREMONT WILL BE POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation held its 12th Embrace Hope Gala

CDBCF honors Gina Conti of the Conti Group and The Late Alyssa Small Blatt at Sold-Out Gala

 

Newark, NJ, November 12, 2019 – The Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation (CDBCF) hosted its 12th annual Embrace Hope Gala on November 1, 2019.  The sold-out event raised funds to purchase a new MRI machine at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, NJ.  The event was co-chaired by Patty Anagnostis, Annette Fasciano, Patti Gargiulo, and Michele Tedesco. 


Gina Conti and The Conti Group was one of this year’s honorees. Gina joined the Foundation’s advisory board in 2016 and she now actively serves on the Strategic and Fundraising committees. Believing that you truly have everything in life if you have your health is a mantra Gina lives by.  She explains why she is so passionate about making a difference, “The impact the CDBCF has on the community by ensuring all women have access to the appropriate screening, diagnoses, treatment and support necessary to combat breast cancer is tremendously rewarding.” 

The late Alyssa Small Blatt who lost her battle to cancer in 2017 was also honored for her strength, courage, and dignity Alyssa was remembered by her husband and two daughters as her whole family came out to support a cause she was so passionate about even when she was fighting an aggressive cancer. 

Alyssa’s husband Perry Blatt accepted her award and reflected, “My wife came to the Gala two years ago to support this cause even when she was fighting cancer but never complained or let on to anyone that she wasn’t doing well. She didn’t want to take away from the time she cherished with those she loved.” 

Connie Dwyer founder of the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation, commented, “This magical evening would not be possible without all of the amazing support of those who donate, attend and volunteer. Thank you all for your generous support”.


Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation

Through our sponsored facilities, the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation serves underprivileged and vulnerable women by ensuring the availability of top-quality breast-health services that include screening, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. The Foundation provides financial assistance to programs and needs deeming most crucial to the health and wellbeing of patients and offices collaborative support to provide resources, education, advocacy and empowerment to the women we serve.   To learn more please visit www.cdbcf.org.

Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation Media Contact:

Sarah Roberts

sarahroberts@cdbcf.org

973-525-8076

Blue Foundry Bank Goes Pink in Support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Bank’s Leadership Development Program Class of 2019 focuses on providing breast care services for the underserved and facilitates sizable donation for the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation.

RUTHERFORD, NJ—DATEBlue Foundry Bank, one of northern New Jersey’s largest community banks and providers of financial services, spearheaded a month-long fundraising effort to provide mammography, ultrasound, biopsy and MRI services for those who might otherwise go unscreened. Led by the bank’s Leadership Development Class (LDP) of 2019 and embraced by the bank and its employees, the initiative raised $2,500 to benefit the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation’s breast center in Newark.

“Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation does an exceptional job providing top quality breast-health services for the underserved and vulnerable,” said Karen Hackes, Education & Development Manager and LDP Adviser at Blue Foundry Bank.  “We are honored to align ourselves with this organization and do what we can to make a difference in the lives of members of the communities where we work and live.”

Throughout October, the 12 person LDP team successfully raised money by selling pink t-shirts and offering weekly “Cupcakes for a Cure” bake sales to fellow employees. In addition, on National Mammography Day, the bank’s corporate headquarters was awash in pink and white balloons, honoring Blue Foundry friends and family members who have beaten, are still fighting or have lost their battle with Breast Cancer.  

In its sixth year, the Leadership Development Program is conducted under the guidance of Rutgers University Continuing Professional Education department and offers employees an opportunity to acquire new and advanced professional development skills, with one of its main pillars being leadership through corporate social responsibility.

About Blue Foundry Bank: Founded as Boiling Springs Savings Bank in 1939 and headquartered in Rutherford, New Jersey, Blue Foundry Bank is a new kind of bank offering full service, crafted banking. Its deposits are insured by the FDIC. With 17 branches throughout Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic counties, Blue Foundry is one of the area’s largest savings banks designed specifically for its people, the movers and shakers. Reflecting its deep roots within New Jersey, and efforts to continue to move the community forward, the bank became Blue Foundry Bank on July 1, 2019.

To learn more about Blue Foundry Bank visit BlueFoundryBank.com or call (201) 939-5000.

This October Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas Celebrates its First Anniversary

Newark, NJ, October 7, 2019 – In conjunction with breast cancer awareness month, the Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey celebrates its one-year anniversary.  Over the last year, the Center has seen a 20% increase in mammograms, with about 600 mammograms per month with a total of 7,200 per year compared to about 6,000 mammograms in 2016/2017.  The Center has a state-of-the-art 3D mammography machine that can detect 41% more invasive breast cancers and can reduce false positives by up to 40%.  Trinitas expects to double the volume of mammography to 12,000 per year by 2021. 

“At the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation, it is our mission to ensure at-risk women receive the best possible care and we couldn’t do that without all of the amazing people who help make this happen at Trinitas”, says Connie Dwyer, founder, Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation.

“Since the Center opened its doors a year ago it has become an important resource to women in our community especially for the uninsured, underinsured and minority women in the region”, says Maria Dudek, Director of the Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas. 

The Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation partnered with Trinitas Regional Medical Center to build a Connie Dwyer Breast Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The new center opened its doors on October 1, 2018.  The new state-of-the-art breast center offers the latest equipment and services available to provide all women with top-quality breast care from screening to diagnosis to treatment.

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Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation

Through our sponsored facilities, the Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation serves underprivileged and vulnerable women by ensuring the availability of top-quality breast-health services that include screening, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. The Foundation provides financial assistance to programs and needs deeming most crucial to the health and wellbeing of patients and offices collaborative support to provide resources, education, advocacy and empowerment to the women we serve.  

Trinitas

From the moment a woman enters the Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas, she will encounter a totally different hospital experience. Our aim is not only to provide early detection and healing but to improve the entire experience of caring for a patient.  Patients come into a serene reception area and waiting room, where they are greeted by bilingual staff. The Center is equipped with three mammography suites – one of which offers advanced 3D imaging – allowing radiologists to view the breast in several layers.  In addition to mammography, we have two ultrasound suites and an advanced biopsy suite, so we are able to provide the very best in screening and diagnostic technology.  We have accomplished a great deal, but our mission to provide comprehensive screening, diagnosis and treatment are ongoing. We are laser-focused on continuing our life-saving work to bring healing and hope to the women of Elizabeth and beyond. 

Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation Media Contact:

Sarah Roberts

sarahroberts@cdbcf.org

973-525-8076

Spring Luncheon 2019

On Friday May 3, 2019  the foundation held our annual Spring Luncheon. It was, once again, hosted by Neiman Marcus, The Mall at Short Hills. We were treated to a special fashion show that featured the Akris fall collection.

It was a day to remember – we enjoyed a delicious lunch and fabulous fashions as we celebrated the success of the Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, NJ.  Click here to see pictures from the event. 

Joe Piscopo and the Connie Dwyer Breast Center

The CDBCF is pleased to announce that the Marketing Department at Trinitas engaged entertainer Joe Piscopo to record a 60-second radio spot promoting the Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas!  The spot will run on 970AM radio during Joe’s show in the morning, and throughout the day.  Please click on the video to hear Joe’s work with a short slideshow accompaniment!

 

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