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Anna & Ralph Durante

“I did this for one person who has inspired me every day for the past 24 years.”

I did this for one person who has inspired me every day for the past 24 years. My life would be empty and meaningless without her: My wife Anna, who is a breast cancer survivor. I want all the women who are facing this dilemma in their own lives to keep a positive attitude, believe, and have faith that God will always walk us through the tough times and meet us at the end of the journey.

Anna, our sons Luca, Mario, Santino, and I all had to come to terms with what was going on when we found out Anna had cancer. It has brought us closer, and made us stronger and more empathetic for others. It has given us the drive to want to help, which is the reason why “I go pink.”

I want to help the community as much as possible in order to ensure all women – and sometimes men too – have access to testing and doctors that will help diagnose and treat whatever they’re facing. It is important that all the money raised for this cause will go to help those directly in our community.

On May 18th people from all over the valley, along with so many others, were able to put together a dinner with rave raffles prizes at the American Russian Club in Shelton. It was a great success! We had a cigar night for all the men, and Susan Coyle came to speak on behalf of The Valley Goes Pink committee. As a result, it was very rewarding to give The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital a check for $2,550.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and unfortunately it is very up close and personal for our family. I lost my father Peter and Anna lost her father Alessandro at a very young age to cancer. We will continue to work together with so many generous friends and family members to fight back against this disease.

We would like to thank all who helped us with our fundraiser, and everyone who made donations. I want to extend a very special thanks to Sal Giglio, who was a tremendous help, as well as my entire family, including my brother, sisters, and cousins. Next year, we’ll do it bigger and better – and we’ll invite couples instead of just the guys. We are so grateful to you all. I am more than certain we will reach this year’s Valley Goes Pink Goal: $35,000 to purchase special ultrasound breast density measurement equipment.

Join with The Valley Goes Pink so that we can get the word out and entice small local businesses to help. No donation is too small, so give what you can. We feel a great sense of joy and pride by helping this great cause, and we hope you will too. Thank you to all who have gone “Pink” with us, and to those who haven’t, join us and go pink this October!

“Through my mom’s journey, I learned so much about the disease and about myself.”

Contributed by: Casey Moran

I really never knew much about breast cancer until my mom was diagnosed in November 2009. Through my mom’s journey, I learned so much about the disease and about myself. Watching all the doctors and nurses help and encourage my Mom was very inspiring. It takes a strong person to work with cancer patients. A lot of love comes from them and their positive attitude is what helps patients survive and want to fight for life. The whole Center for Cancer Care is now why I go pink! My mother’s journey opened up so many doors for me. It made me realize how cancer affects not only the person but also their family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Everyone that helped us, sent a card, made us dinner, or said prayers for my mom are all people that I cherish.

For the past few years I have been very involved with helping get the message out to people about breast cancer, and this is something I will continue to do for the rest of my life. I believe in paying it forward. I am blessed to have my mother with me today. We need to find a cure, we need to save lives. I never want anyone to have to experience what I experienced with my mother’s cancer. It was terrible!

It is very easy for anyone to get involved with the Cancer Center. Help people by volunteering or participating in the annual 5K Walk/Run. The first year I walked in honor of my mom, our team had over 120 walkers and we raised a lot of money. We made a difference that day. Our team was featured in a lot of the papers, and sometimes one article can change a life.

Dealing with cancer is a very scary time in someone’s life. But my mom always tells people that she believes it’s harder on the care-takers, the people that give the patient love, encouragement and support. I believe this is why I am going into the nursing field. I know I have the heart and desire to help other people, other families and other children that are watching their parents fight for life!

Find a family that is going through cancer, any kind of cancer, and send a card, bring them dinner, or even just make a phone call. Look around the community and you will be very surprised how many people are fighting this battle. Ask at local schools for a family, or even a place of worship. The person sitting next to you could have someone close to them or know someone who has cancer and could use a little love from a compassionate stranger.