AKCSURVIVOR fashion show
Meet our Fashion Show models!

Abbie Letts O'Brien
Abbie is a three-year survivor from West Hartford.

“My diagnosis left me feeling that I needed to 'do something.' I kept looking for a way to make a difference, but didn’t know how. It was a deep need inside me, with my heart thinking about writing a book or starting a foundation. A professional fundraiser by trade, I wanted nothing more than to fundraise for the physicians, nurses and the hospital that saved my life. One year and one month after my diagnosis, I began my position as a development officer for UConn Health. To me, it’s the dream job.”
 Abby O'Brien
Amanda Gurchin
Amanda is a one-year survivor from Avon. How has breast cancer has changed Amanda’s life?

“I've been learning about who I really am. I've gained confidence and strength and wouldn't have changed the past year for anything.”
 Amanda G
April Lionberger
April is a three-year survivor from Glastonbury. Because of breast cancer, April doesn’t wait to do the things that make her happy!

“Even if you are young, healthy and active, breast cancer can happen to you.”
 April L
Betsy Ballard
Betsy is a two-year survivor from Westfield, MA. Since her diagnosis, Betsy pays it forward more often, takes time for herself, and lives more and cares less. Her advice to other women about breast cancer is . . .

“Get your mammograms! Ask questions often and do not settle with whomever you are sent to - find a doctor you feel comfortable with. Don't be afraid to speak for yourself and get a second or even third opinions! You matter!”
 Betsy B
Carey Penny
Carey is a two-year survivor from Vernon.

“Breast cancer has given me a great appreciation for the life I have, my family, our friends. I appreciate the joy, peace and hope that is found each day. Oddly enough, my experience has also made me more fearless. I think when we face immense hardship we don't worry about the small stuff as much. Life is a gift and I'm going to get busy living!”
 Carey p
Claire DiCenzo
Claire is a two-year survivor from Middletown.

“Breast cancer has changed my life by teaching me to never sweat the small stuff. Enjoy each day because you only live once! Also, ‘pay it forward’, because you never know what others are going through.”
 Claire D
Cynthia Newman-Gibson
Cynthia is an 8-year-and-10-month survivor from Hartford.

“During my breast cancer journey I developed a deeper faith and trust in God, and I am thankful for every day of life - and the love of family and friends.”
 Cyntha N Gibson
Delia Rodriguez-Torres
Delia is a one year survivor from East Hartford. How has breast cancer changed her life?

“I have learned how to share more of myself; and enjoy life to the fullest. My advice to other women about breast cancer is to stay positive, pray, have faith and keep positive people in your life”

 Veronica T
Denise Patterson
Denise is a one-year survivor from Hartford.

“This experience with cancer has made me examine my life, attitude and my action, which has made me try to be a better wife, mother, friend - and most of all a better person. Moreover, I have learned that faith is all you have in the mist of troubled times in life.”

 Denise Patterson
Denise Newman Sinclair

Denise is a five-year survivor from Windsor. She is very family-oriented and believes God has blessed her with the gift of caring for others. Battling breast cancer has taught her let go and let God be in control. She surrounds herself with positive energy and tries to live a more stress free & spiritual life.
 Denise Sinclair
Dotlyn Johnson
Dotlyn is a three year survivor from East Hartford. How has breast cancer changed Dotlyn’s life?

“I feel lucky to have caught my cancer early, I’m more aware of breast cancer now. My advice to other women is to keep up with yearly mammograms.”
 Dotlyn J
Elaine Lindsley
Elaine is a one-year survivor from Forestville/Bristol. A recent graduate of UConn, Elaine won an intramural water polo championship in college. Breast Cancer has changed her life because it has taught Elaine to jump on every opportunity in life and live it to the fullest.
 Elaine L
Erin Lavery
October 30, 2016 marks Erin’s two-year survivor anniversary. Erin is from Norwalk and is getting married on November 4th!

“Breast Cancer has changed my life is so many ways. I am more compassionate and empathetic. I am more driven to help others and to accomplish personal goals … and I have less worry and fear than I did before being diagnosed. It has brought me a renewed focus on what truly matters, and has brought some truly fantastic people into my life.”

 Erin Lavery
Flora Hacker
Flora is a nineteen-month survivor from Glastonbury. Flora has been an RN for 36 years and still loves what she does. Every day is a challenge and a continuous learning experience. Breast Cancer has taught her to slow down, take care of herself first, stay healthy, relax and not worry too much…and to enjoy life!
 Flora H
Dr. Gina Detmar-Pines
Gina is a survivor of breast cancer in her 13th year!
 Gina Pines
Jenny Malave
Jenny is a nine-year breast cancer survivor from Hartford. Jenny has worked in the Hartford Public School System as a Paraprofessional for 29 years, working with young children under the age of six. They have continued to be an inspiration to her throughout her career.

“Breast Cancer has given me a new appreciation of life. I value every moment of every day and live life to the fullest.”
 Jenny Malave
Joan Morrison
Joan is a four-and-a-half-year survivor from Hartford. She is the proud parent of a 26 and 14 year old, as well as a beautiful adopted little girl. Breast Cancer has changed her life and made Joan an even better person. She tries to stay positive and surround herself with positive people.
 Joan Morrison
Kathleen McDaniel
Kathleen was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer on August 19, 2014. She is a two-year survivor from West Hartford. How has breast cancer changed her life?

“Even though I experienced physical loss as a result of surgeries and chemotherapy, I appreciate now, more than ever before, that physical appearance is not important...it is what is inside that that counts!”

 Kathleen M
Krista Nordmark
Krista is from East Hartford. She will be running the Boston Half Marathon and will be getting married next year!

“I am currently battling Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. I was first diagnosed in 2010 and I am now in a clinical trial at Dana Farber. My cancer has been stable for almost 2 years. To put into words the ways in which cancer has changed my life would be hard, but all I can say is that I am a different person than I was 10 years ago. I appreciate the people in my life more than I ever have before, and don't take a moment of my life for granted. I always say I wish everyone could have an experience in their life similar to the experience I have had in order to change their perspective. I am much more positive and patient than I have ever been, and I owe it all to my experience with cancer.”

 Krista N
Leslie Balchunas
Leslie is a sixteen-year Breast Cancer survivor from West Hartford. She loves to cook, shop and help other people. Breast Cancer has changed her life in so many ways; the most important is that she is always thinking about her experience and wants others to know that it is so important to have regular mammograms.
 Leslie B
Linda Conte
Linda is a three-year survivor from Northford. Linda found out she was pregnant two months after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and underwent mastectomy at 14 weeks of pregnancy. How has breast cancer changed her life?

“It made me realize I am much stronger than I ever thought, and that life really is too short to sweat the small stuff.”
 Linda COnte
Lindsey Fortier
Lindsey is a two-year cancer survivor from Windsor. She loves whitewater kayaking and photography.

“Cancer has changed my life by teaching me how to be present, and showing me the only time we really have is the present moment because yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn't gotten here yet. It taught me how to face fears head on, and that on the other side of fear is freedom. It has allowed me to look at life in such a unique and beautiful way, and it made me fall in love with adventure.”
 Linsey F
Lori Rodden
Lori is a three-and-a-half-year survivor from Glastonbury. She’s been married for 23 years to her best friend and loves to spend time on Cape Cod. Breast Cancer has made Lori a better mom.

“I even more fully appreciate the big and little moments in my daughters' lives. I am also less intimidated by lots of things and/or people. I got through cancer, I can get through anything!”
 Lori Rodden
Maggie Gardner
A survivor from Hartford, Maggie was first diagnosed in 2000 and again in 2005. She loves dancing and helping others. She appreciates the small things in life and that she is special no matter what. Her greatest advice is to love yourself enough to take the time to check your breasts & get a mammogram.
 Maggie G
Nancy Frobel
Nancy is a four-year survivor from West Hartford. She is married with three wonderful children, and four beautiful grandchildren! Nancy embraces every day and appreciates every new day with family and friends.

Her advice is, “Early detection is important; it can save your life. Stay strong and positive!”
 Nancy F
Ronni Newton
Ronnie is a nine-year survivor from West Hartford. How has Breast Cancer changed her life?

“It's given me admission to a 'club' that I never would have chosen to join, but through that club I have met some of the strongest and bravest women! I'm a worrier by nature, but once you hear a doctor tell you that you have cancer, you have to be brave and fight. It's made me realize that a positive and 'fighting' attitude can make a major difference!”
 Ronnie N
Semaria Cobb
Semaria is a nine-year survivor from Hartford. She is a single parent and a hard worker. Breast Cancer has taught her to live each day to the fullest; it’s not a death sentence.
 Semeria C
Simonne Corriveau
As of October 18, Simonne will be a nine-year survivor! From Plainville, she has two grandsons, Noah and Maverick.

Her advice is not to take your health for granted. She is so thankful for each and every healthy day and advises to get your mammograms … that is one visit you should never cancel no matter what age!
Susan Lane
Susan is a fourteen-year survivor from Avon. She just became a grandmother to beautiful Chloe in May. Susan’s thoughts on how Breast Cancer has changed her life…

“Facing something as scary as cancer made me learn to focus on making the most out of every moment and finding something to be grateful for each day. We can easily succumb to our troubles and become so entrenched in negative thinking that it clouds our daily existence and overall joy. I choose to find peace and happiness in everyday living and help others recognize their beauty and value.”
 Susan Lane
Vicky Mazzarelli
Vicky is a nine-year year cancer survivor from Torrington.

“As a survivor I have learned how important it is to eat healthy, exercise and keep a positive outlook with whatever comes my way. Working with young students every day I encourage them to make healthy choices about food and fitness for life. Love who you are and be happy!"

 Vicky M