|More than 40 women from Fairfield, Easton, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton took part in the seventh annual Rose of Hope Tennis Tournament at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield on Sept. 13 and the event raised $9,300 to support the community outreach programs of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center.
Seated (left to right): speaker Johnna Dineley, Stephen Dineley and Dr. Andrew Kenler. Standing: Maureen DiGennaro, Deborah Krevalin, Phil DiGennaro, Donna Twist and Kelly Kenler
“We had over 60 people at the luncheon following the tournament,” said Beth Davis of the Breast Care Center’s Advisory Board, who co-chaired the event with fellow board member Donna Craft. “Many of these women, who come every year to show their support, have been touched by breast cancer in some way and want to help other women and their families struggling with the disease.”
In addition to Craft and Davis, the Rose of Hope Tennis Tournament planning committee included Nancy Bento, Nancy Church, Anne Foley, Kristin Jennings, Janet Maroun, Amanda Mason, Kristin Nick, Katherine Sullivan and Lynne Taikowski.
“The committee did a wonderful job of organizing an event which supports our programs in the community,” says Donna Twist, PhD, the Center’s Executive Director. “We are grateful to them for their hard work.”
The tournament had two winners for each of four flights: Lynn Edelstein and Suzy Mercado, Tracy Fincher and Heidi Prom, Melissa Finzi and Kathy Lasota, and Mary Frank and Elise Nappi.
The tournament included a luncheon and silent auction of a quilt donated by Deborah Krevalin, a textile designer and quilt maker. The keynote speaker at the luncheon was recovering breast cancer patient Gianna Dineley, a mother of two and owner of the Jo Davi Salon in Trumbull.
Dineley was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2010 and was treated at the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. Dineley spoke about her 18-month breast cancer journey and what she learned along the way.
“I felt like I was in a boxing ring,” she said. “This experience did not weaken me but only made me stronger. I realized that through God's guidance, I had gone down this long road and would now be able to help and touch the lives of other women.”
Dineley now shares her experience with other women and encourages them to go for their annual mammogram. “My cancer was treated successfully because it was caught early,” she said. “And with a place like the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, there's no reason not to go in for your mammogram each year. Even if you can't afford it, they will help you.”
Dineley praised the care she received at the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, especially from her surgeon, Andrew Kenler, MD. “Everybody who touched me was wonderful. I knew immediately I was in good hands. They were like family. It meant the world to me to have someone holding my hand and patting my back. You don't realize how important that is until you're the patient and find out the journey can be so scary.”
Dineley offered to donate proceeds of Power Dose conditioning hair treatments at her salon in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. “It's a great place and we're so lucky to have it here,” she said of the Breast Care Center. “I know we can help the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center keep us healthy. Please support this wonderful, caring place.”
Part of the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital, the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center has served more than 18,000 women and their families since it was established in 1999. A member of the prestigious National Consortium of Breast Care Centers, the Center provides a wide range of diagnostic care and treatment at its Bridgeport Hospital and Fairfield locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography and radiation therapy, and genetic risk assessment as well as opportunities to participate in clinical trials.
The Breast Care Center office at 111 Beach Road in Fairfield provides comprehensive women’s wellness services, including nutrition counseling, massage and Reiki therapy, wig and prosthesis fitting, counseling, yoga, Pilates, naturopathic medicine and other patient support activities.
The Center also has a satellite office on Park Avenue in Trumbull. For more information call 203-255-5300 or visit the Center on the web at www.bridgeporthospital.org/breast.