Real Help, Right Now! Today we welcomed representatives of the breast cancer organization, Breast Intentions. Sue Kiley, a Monmouth County Freeholder, member of the MDP Women’s Advisory Board and Board of Trustees member, introduced powerful women to our senior and junior girls who sat in on an assembly about the organization and listened to stories and facts regarding the different stages of breast cancer. In the Breast Intentions brochure, it states, “Our goal is to encourage young women to take an active stance on their health, learn about their risks for breast cancer and perform a self-breast exam each month. Through our in-school learning assemblies, we raise awareness of breast cancer prevention techniques in order to empower, educate, strengthen, and inspire women.”
Breast Intentions is a 501 (c) (3) charity started in New Jersey by two 15-year-old high school teens in 2007. Michael Ruane and Erika Rech, cousins and Presidents of Breast Intentions, came up with the idea when attending a 2007 Mater Dei Prep Relay for Life event. They went through the unimaginable after their mother and two aunts were all diagnosed with breast cancer in the same year. They were motivated to make a change and help those in similar situations.
Michael and Erika sold candy bars, bracelets, and t-shirts at St. Mary School to jumpstart their charity, from then on it has been an amazing organization that emotionally and financially supports families. The money raised has purchased wigs, prosthetics, paid living expenses, transportation to and from treatments, co-pays, and utility bills.
The assembly covered the details of the charity, how our students can volunteer, how they can help themselves now and in the future, and how they can help others bring awareness to breast cancer. Carol Rech, a Stage 3C breast cancer survivor, spoke today about her struggle with her diagnosis and the support needed to fight her battle. She is the Vice President of Breast Intentions, along with VP Marianne Ruane. They provided facts on the disease and at the end they quizzed the students to test their memory. In addition to Carol and Marianne, Nicole Pelliccia, Patient Advocate, Debbie Serrano, Fundraiser Chair, and Heidi Lewis, Fundraiser Assistant all helped with the assembly and motivated our students to participate.
If you would like to learn more about Breast Intentions and how to help, visit their website, www.breastintentions.org. Thank you to all the women who came to Mater Dei Prep to speak today to our junior and senior female students, raising awareness to this cause is immensely important to implement at an early age and we couldn’t have asked for a better presentation.