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FOR RELEASE: 2/27/2012Contact: Jackie Keren, (203) 255-5300

Loss of friend inspires gifts to Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center

Mary Decker Bottero
Mary Decker Bottero
Mary Decker Bottero was devastated when her friend Carrie Sears died of a heart attack in the fall of 2010 while undergoing chemotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer. After her death, Bottero, a Regional Vice President of Arbonne, the Swiss-based natural cosmetics company, wanted to honor the friend who had given so much to her. This year, she donated 55 Arbonne skin care sets in her honor to women currently receiving treatment for cancer at The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center’s clinic at Bridgeport Hospital.

“As Carrie’s 55th birthday approached, I wanted to do something. I remember how self-conscious she was about losing her hair and getting used to scarves and wigs,” Bottero says. “Your face is the first thing everyone sees. I want women to feel good about themselves as they go through breast cancer treatment. I want to do something to pamper them, to ease their pain and heartbreak.”

Bottero had volunteered with the Breast Care Center with her daughter as part of the Joel Barlow Catwalk for a Cure, an event organized by Easton and Redding high school students to raise funds for the Breast Care Center’s programs for women in need.

“Our patients at Bridgeport Hospital were so pleased,” says Donna Twist, PhD, Executive Director/Vice President, Development of The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. “It is a lovely gift for women in treatment and means so much to them.”

In addition to honoring her friend, Bottero wanted to thank her. It was her struggle with cancer that gave Bottero a new passion in her life: educating women about the amount of harmful chemicals in the majority of personal care products and cosmetics on the market and show them a safer alternative. After she incorporated this message into her work, her business took off.

“It’s because of Carrie I became successful,” she says. “So I want to give back, help people make safer, healthier choices.” Bottero has a background in nursing and a long time interest in health and wellness. “Your skin is your largest organ. Everything we put on it is absorbed into our bodies. An article I read called “The Toxic Burden” states that women put over 515 chemicals on their faces every day. It’s one thing people can do, to be conscious about what they put in and on their bodies.”

Bottero speaks to women at her Arbonne events. She even talked to the teens involved in Catwalk for a Cure. She gives all the credit to her friend. “I feel strongly about making a difference in my own way,” she says. “Carrie gave me focus and passion. I had to do something.”

Part of The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital, The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center has served more than 20,000 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 also 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 has a satellite office on Park Avenue in Trumbull.

For more information, call 203-255-5300 or visit

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