December 7th, 2017 by

A lot can change in a decade.

Way back in December 2008, 400 of our friends and supporters gathered in Foxboro, Mass. for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation’s inaugural gala.

It was a very uncertain time – not only for the Foundation, but the Andruzzi family as well. Joe had been diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma (an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) just 18-months prior to the event and was cautiously celebrating being just over a year in remission. Meanwhile, the Foundation was navigating its infancy – having just launched in May of 2008 – and the gala marked JAF’s first major fundraising event.

That …

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November 30th, 2017 by

No one is ready for cancer, but Brenda Sumner was particularly surprised.

The Lancaster mom had traveled to see a friend in Idaho, and contracted the Norovirus. Back home, she became dehydrated and had to go to the hospital; she thought she was just sick. Normal stuff.

But on her second trip to the hospital, doctors ran a CT scan and sent her for a colonoscopy. They hoped it was colitis, but it wasn’t.

And just like that, they were talking about how long she had to live. “We were told at the beginning it could be weeks or months,” she said.

That …

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November 21st, 2017 by

Advocate for yourself. And live a happy life.

These are the lessons Tanya Sexton has taken from her cancer journey, which began with an upsetting misdiagnosis.

The 37-year-old Plympton, Mass., mother of four knew something was wrong when she sought her regular breast exam in March of 2016. She knew the symptoms; her mother had passed from breast cancer, and her sister had survived it.

But Tanya’s mammogram tested normal, so she accepted the results, though she was skeptical.

Looking back, she said, “I’m mad at myself for not insisting on a biopsy. But everybody wants to hear they’re OK, especially when you have …

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October 30th, 2017 by

Amber Willey had been in her new job for just two days, when she found out she had breast cancer.

“The first thing I thought is… ‘Oh my God, I’m going to lose my job,’” remembered the 35-year-old Nashua mom, who works in medical billing for Southern New Hampshire Medical Center.

But Amber didn’t lose her job. Her workplace – which is also her treatment provider – was accommodating and compassionate, allowing her to take days off for appointments and treatment. And so, she continued to work full-time, since her diagnosis in October of 2016.

“My job has been so supportive, through the …

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October 26th, 2017 by

In May of 2017, Charmine Duest got two pieces of shocking news.

First, the lump she’d found in her left breast was cancerous. Second, she was about eight weeks pregnant.

“It was kind of a shock to me because there’s no history of breast cancer in my family,” said the North Attleboro, Massachusetts mom and dental assistant. “I never thought this would happen.”

She also thought she was done having children. At 40 years old, she has one son – 8-year-old Kristian. She never expected another baby.

But she and her fiancée, Kevin, have adapted. He moved to North Attleboro from Rochester, New Hampshire, …

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