On October 10, 2018, the 10th Annual Drink Pink for a cause will take place at Bernard’s in Ridgefield. This event supports Ann’s Place while putting a spotlight on local breast cancer patients and 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 Bernard’s on October 10 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 difficult journey with us.
Hometown: Brookfield, CT
Occupation: Tennis Pro and Coach and mom.
"I'm the mom of two beautiful, intelligent and athletic daughters age 24 (Nicola) & 21 (Victoria). Proud Mama. I celebrated my 26th year married to my husband Richard this past April."
Tell me about when you first learned you had breast cancer
I found one of my four tumors just 4 months after my mammogram notice came back fine back on September 11th, 2013. The ultrasound confirmed four tumors. I have dense breast tissue so my cancer showed up “white”. Like looking for a pearl in cotton candy. Ultrasound comes up “Black”.
Who did you turn to for support and how was that person or organization supportive?
I turned to my husband and family for strength and support after my diagnosis. I am so grateful for the amazing support of the following:
Valerie Staradub my breast surgeon (who scheduled my bilateral mastectomy surgery on her birthday to get it removed immediately.)
JoAnn Balerini nurse navigator, an Earth Angel!
Dr. Prashant Sonni my surgeon for reconstruction. A true artist with great bedside manner.
Ann’s Place group support meetings, music and art were all inspirational during my healing.
Tell me about something someone said or did that helped you through your most difficult days
My tennis community kept me sane! Friends and teammates would pick me up, help me with my coat, buckle my seatbelt and help me in and out of the car to watch our tennis matches.
Do you look at life differently pre/post breast cancer diagnosis?
I do look at life differently post-cancer. I exhale...stay patient and take things much easier.
What message do you have for others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer?
Keep the communications open with old and new friends. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say or do. You need to take the initiative. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, a ride somewhere, or just company. Buy that pretty dress or pair of shoes. Take time for a massage or facial, mani-pedi...treat yourself! You are a survivor! Continue making memories with family and share the story of the journey with others. #breastcancersurvivor #warrior
Drink Pink for a cause will take place at Bernard's in Ridgefield (20 West Lane) on Wednesday, October 10 from 6 to 8pm. There is no need to RSVP! Just show up ($20 at the door benefits Ann's Place) for an unforgettable night. There will be nibbles (courtesy of 109 Cheese), pink cocktails, live music, and fantastic raffle prizes!