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Meet 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Face, Donna Mae Gardiner-Spano

On October 3, 2019, the 11th Annual Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House in Ridgefield. This event supports Ann’s Place while putting a spotlight on local breast cancer survivors.

The photo you see here is one of Kristen Jensen’s “Courageous Faces”. This and many other photos of cancer survivors, and those in the midst of treatment will blanket the walls of the Lounsbury House telling a story of life, struggle, friendship, and hope.

Here, we couple the many Courageous Faces with their unique stories. We thank each and every one of these ladies for sharing their journey with us.

Visit Crowdrise HERE to support the 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Faces. 

Meet Drink Pink model and Courageous Face, Donna Mae Gardiner-Spano

Hometown: Southbury 

When and how did you first learn you had breast cancer? 

I have always had issues with my breasts.  They were Dense and always required both Mammography and Ultrasound.   On a routine visit to my radiologist back in March of 2009, the cancer was picked up on the Ultrasound and not the Mammography.

Who did you turn to for support and how was that person or organization supportive? 

Back in 2009, my warrior husband succumbed to cancer 3 months after I was diagnosed.   He was my supporter as I was his for the 4 years he was ill prior to that. I also have two wonderful sisters whom I am very close to.  

Tell me about something someone said or did that helped you through your most difficult days 

The company I work for ExecuNet got me through those tough times and allowed me to take the time I needed to heal from my cancer and also the loss of my husband.  When I went back to work – got all sorts of compliments on how great my hair looked very gray and short. Since then, I’ve gone back to color and longer hair.

What was your photoshoot with Kristen Jensen and your day of beauty at Adam Broderick?   

The best thing about that day was my one on one with Kristen.  I loved that she indicated she needed to interview me and not just shoot photos.  Having your pictures taken like you’re a real model was quite an experience for me.   Kristen talked while she did the shoot which relaxed me. Quite a wonderful lady. Adam Broderick experience was wonderful.  The lady who did my makeup was beautiful and made me feel pretty and confident about my makeup. The young lady that did my hair was adorable and got it perfect.

What message do you have for others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer?

 Stay positive, exercise, go to support groups and you will beat cancer’s ass!

Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House, located at 316 Main Street in Ridgefield on October 3 from 6 to 8pm. Learn more about Ann’s Place here.

Support the 2019 Drink Pink models and Ann’s Place by making a donation HERE.

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