Sanjana

Sanjana is one of T.E.A.L.®’s Youth Ambassadors on the East Coast. She has always been interested in the medical field, but after seeing her mother’s close friend go through leukemia treatment, she became interested in cancer. Being a woman herself, the threat ovarian cancer poses to women didn’t go unnoticed to her, so she joined to Tell Every Amazing Lady® about ovarian cancer and its symptoms!

Sanjana volunteered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for two years when she was in middle school, doing ice cream stands during the summer, raising over $600.00. This is where her initiative was born.

She started Global Awareness Club as a freshman at Garnet Valley High School and has been President since, advocating for humanitarian causes, like poverty, animal preservation, and global warming, around the world. She worked as a Non-profit Leadership Ambassador at The Borgen Project to stop the spread of poverty and raised over $500.00 for her personal fundraising campaign. She earned the President’s Circle Award and reached out to over 100 people.

To help struggling students during the pandemic, she recently founded a tutoring organization, STEM For A Good Cause, to teach STEM subjects all while raising money for humanitarian crises. Sanjana is now a senior at Garnet Valley High School and hopes to major in biology and the health sciences to continue her research in cancer.

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Kiara

Kiara was the first T.E.A.L.® Youth Ambassador. She works to tell every amazing lady about ovarian cancer and its symptoms.

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Sarah

Sarah is one of T.E.A.L.®’s Youth Ambassador on the West Coast. When her Auntie Mimi passed away from ovarian cancer, Sarah went online to find out more about the disease that had taken her aunt’s life.

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Meet Maureen

Meet Maureen, the T.E.A.L.®-nominated Volunteer of the Month for July!

For the student at Urban Academy, volunteerism runs in the family.

“I became involved with T.E.A.L.® because my sister who is two years older than me worked at T.E.A.L.®. I saw what she was doing and it was a good community service idea for me.”

She started helping in the T.E.A.L.® Community Center in Brooklyn in September. She organized the office, helped prepare the T.E.A.L.® newsletter for mailing, and assisted with packing T.E.A.L.® Kits for survivors.

To Maureen, when volunteering with Tell Every Amazing Lady®, she knows she’s making a difference.

“The thing about T.E.A.L.® is I know how personal it is. I know that I don’t normally see the survivor, but I know that what I’m doing is impacting them.”

For anyone thinking about volunteering, Maureen says go for it.

“If you have the time to do it and you’re passionate about it, you should definitely volunteer.”

Have you heard? We now have a Volunteer of the Month nomination program! We’re highlighting one volunteer each month as a way to say thank you for the outstanding work you put in.


We need your help! Nominate yourself or another volunteer for a future month.

Long Island University Graduate Students

Meet the Long Island University Post Genetic Counseling Graduate students, the T.E.A.L.®-nominated Volunteer of the Month for June!

This group of 12 Masters students began volunteering with Tell Every Amazing Lady® at the start of their studies to become genetic counselors.

The students volunteered at the 11th Annual Brooklyn T.E.A.L.® Walk/Run by ensuring that the trail was safe for participants.

Later, they volunteered in the T.E.A.L.® Community Center in Brooklyn, where they worked on a variety of projects. Notably, they created and led a workshop to educate the community on hereditary cancer and how genetic testing may help those with a family history of this ovarian cancer.

Several months later, when the COVID-19 crisis brought uncertainty and restricted work ability, the LIU students reconnected with T.E.A.L.®, supporting the ovarian cancer community digitally. They took on a range of jobs from their homes, from identifying resources to keep ovarian cancer survivors healthy to finding funding opportunities for the organization during these difficult times.

The LIU students recognize the communal power of their volunteer work.

Elizabeth, a student in the program, feels that “volunteering with T.E.A.L.® was an eye-opening experience that showed me how a group of people who have been affected by a disease can come together and have the power to change lives and help others in need.”

The students encourage anyone considering volunteering with T.E.A.L.® to do so. Volunteering not only helps those affected by ovarian cancer, but also provides a valuable lesson in giving back and the strength of a community, they said.

Have you heard? We now have a Volunteer of the Month nomination program! We’re highlighting one volunteer each month as a way to say thank you for the outstanding work you put in.


We need your help! Nominate yourself or another volunteer for a future month.

Meet Jane

As a licensed physical therapist, Jane volunteers with Tell Every Amazing Lady® by donating her time and expertise to moderate workshops about mindfulness and meditation.

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Meet Leonard

Leonard has been volunteering with Tell Every Amazing Lady® since 2015, when he was a student at Brooklyn College and heard about the foundation at a health fair.

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Meet Tommy

Tommy has been volunteering with Tell Every Amazing Lady® since its inception in 2009. He started helping because his dad was friends with Louisa McGregor.

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Meet Samantha

Samantha has been a volunteer with T.E.A.L.® since 2016. She found out about the foundation when she was playing roulette in Las Vegas.

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Meet Sabrina and Joe

You never realize how much of an impact what you do has on someone’s life, it’s going to change your life and you’re going to change so many other lives with what you do.

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Meet Adelaide

She’s one of our amazing high school student volunteers. She has been volunteering for multiple years and has helped to organize our Walks and other fundraising and awareness events.

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Dr. Elizabeth Poynor

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Dr. Elizabeth Poynor

MD, PhD, FACOG is a gynecologic oncologist and advanced pelvic surgeon. After completing advanced surgical training in gynecology, gynecologic oncology and advanced pelvic surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and maintaining a successful surgical practice there for more than a decade, she decided to focus exclusively on the care of women in a more comfortable and private setting. After establishing her private practice, she was noted in 2007 and 2008 to be a Castle Connolly Guide Top Doctor for the New York Metro Area, for gynecologic oncology.

Dr. Poynor graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1984. She then graduated from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1988 and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. Dr. Poynor completed her fellowship in gynecologic oncology in 1995 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and remained on the surgical attending staff until July of 2006. While developing and maintaining a busy surgical practice as an Assistant Attending Surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, she also obtained a PhD in cell biology and genetics from Cornell. Dr. Poynor is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology. In June of 2006, after amassing a vast experience in radical pelvic and minimally invasive pelvic surgery, Dr. Poynor established her solo private practice in gynecologic oncology and pelvic surgery in Manhattan. This move was made in order to provide her patients with leading-edge, top quality care in a patient-centric, calm and compassionate fashion. In addition to providing surgical and medical care to the highest standards in her field, she provides a distinct focus on the importance of the patient-physician relationship.

Over the years Dr. Poynor has co-authored numerous publications and book chapters on topics in gynecology and gynecologic oncology, and has lectured nationally, internationally and through the national media. As a surgeon scientist her work involved translating basic science principles into clinically meaningful treatments and she served as Director of Translational Research for the Gynecology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Poynor has also served as an investigator in numerous clinical trials relating to the surgical, medical and biologic treatment of gynecologic cancers and has participated in national leadership programs in gynecologic oncology including the Committee on Experimental Medicine in the Gynecologic Oncology Group.

Dr. Poynor provides comprehensive surgical management of gynecologic cancers and works with medical and radiation oncologists in order to facilitate a compassionate, multidisciplinary approach to the management of women’s cancers. Through her extensive experience in the treatment of women’s cancers and recent move into the private setting, she is able to provide leading edge cancer care in an unhurried and calm atmosphere so that treatment plans and options can be discussed in a private, thorough and unrushed fashion. She also provides operative care, counseling, and surgical alternatives to women who require, or may be considering complex gynecologic surgery. There is a focus on minimally invasive surgery in the practice and advanced laparoscopic techniques are employed. In addition to traditional outcomes evaluation of operative procedures, there is also a focus on cosmetic and quality of life outcomes for patients who require surgery.

Dr. Poynor’s practice also focuses on the care of the woman who is at elevated risk to develop cancer based on an abnormal Pap smear, her personal medical history, or family history of cancer. She has special expertise in the complex management of women and their families who have a genetic predisposition to developing breast cancer and gynecologic malignancies. Dr. Poynor also provides gynecologic care for women who currently have or have survived cancer, and may be experiencing side eff ects from prior or ongoing treatments. A large portion of her practice is devoted to the management of menopausal symptoms and sexual health of women who may not be candidates for hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Poynor has thus developed a special interest in the management of health and quality of life issues related to menopause in the cancer survivor.

Dr. Poynor is a respected and sought after source for the popular press and has been quoted in such publications as: Town and Country, More and Redbook. She has also appeared as an expert commentator on MSNBC, the Today Show and WCBS.

Dr. Matthew Lederman

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Dr. Matthew Lederman

Dr. Matthew Lederman is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, and is often acknowledged for his compassionate care, devotion to patients and his clinical expertise. He treats patients in New York City at the RMA of NY Westside location as well as in the RMA Westchester office in White Plains. Prior to joining RMA of NY in 2014, Dr. Lederman treated patients at the Continuum Reproductive Center at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Dr. Lederman received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School and completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center. During his residency, he served as administrative chief resident and also received the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University Teaching Award two years in a row. While in fellowship, Dr. Lederman was acknowledged by the Endocrine Society for his research and received a travel grant. He serves on the medical advisory board of FORCE: Facing our Risk of Cancer Empowered, and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Endocrine Society, Westchester OB/GYN Society, and Resolve. He was also named to the list of SuperDoctors featured in New York Times Magazine consistently since 2015 in their New York Edition.

Dr. Lederman has published scientific abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of endocrinology and infertility, and has presented his research at national conferences. He has extensive clinical experience in all areas of fertility, including unexplained infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, in vitro fertilization, egg freezing, pre-implantation genetic screening and fertility preservation for patients recently diagnosed with cancer (oncofertility) and those who are pre-disposed to hereditary cancer syndromes (ie. BRCA).

Dr. Oliver Zivanovic

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Dr. Oliver Zivanovic

MD, is a gynecologic oncology surgeon specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the uterus, cervix, ovary, and vulva. I am serving as a faculty member on the Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. As part of the Ovarian Cancer Section at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center I have extensive experience in the treatment of ovarian cancer and pharmacology of local intraperitoneal chemotherapy in patients with peritoneal surface malignancies. The goal of cytoreductive surgery is to remove as much visible disease as possible, making the tumor more responsive to chemotherapy and improving treatment success. At the same time I am working on quality improvement initiatives to reduce the burden of symptoms and complications following surgery and evaluating the role of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and health-related quality of life (HRLQ) in cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Dr. Dennis S. Chi

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Dr. Dennis S. Chi

MD, FACOG, FACS, has served as a faculty member on the Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, since 1997. He is currently the Deputy Chief of the Gynecology Service and head of the Ovarian Cancer Surgery Section. He was co-director of Pelvic Reconstructive surgery, Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship and the Pelvic Reconstruction Clinical Research Fellowships from 2001-2014. He helped to establish the International Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship program at MSKCC. His experience in population-based and patient-oriented research have led to over 200 peer-reviewed publications and international presentations that have demonstrated the safe use of advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques in the management of early ovarian cancer, the beneficial effects of the use of extensive surgical procedures for advanced and recurrent gynecologic cancers, and the establishment of clinical guidelines to determine appropriate candidates for second and third operations in cases of recurrent uterine and ovarian cancer. Dr. Chi is the principal investigator of four current MSKCC IRB-approved prospective clinical protocols including a randomized, multicenter phase II trial comparing secondary cytoreductive surgery with and without Hearted Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. On a national level, he has served multiple times as the director or faculty member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s annual postgraduate courses aimed at instructing gynecologic oncologists throughout the world on the most up-to-date surgical treatments for women with gynecologic malignancies.

Dr. Kevin M. Holcomb

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Dr. Kevin M. Holcomb

Dr. Kevin Holcomb is Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as well as an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He received his BA from Cornell University and attended New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY. Following an internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Holcomb completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. He has a strong clinical interest in the role of minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology and serves as the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell. Dr. Holcomb has authored several manuscripts regarding various topics in gynecologic oncology including the surgical management of endometrial cancer, serum biomarkers in adnexal masses, and preinvasive disease of the cervix in HIV-positive women. He received the National Faculty Award by the Council of Residency Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2002 and 2004. He is a full member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and a Fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Holcomb has been recognized annually by Castle Connolly Ltd. and New York Magazine as a top doctor in the New York metropolitan area since 2010. He is a past president of the board of advisors for the American Cancer Society upper Manhattan office as well as the Metropolitan Gynecologic Cancer Society.

Dr. Samantha Cohen

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Dr. Samantha Cohen

Dr. Samantha Cohen is a board certified Gynecologic Oncology at the Mount Sinai Hospital. She is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed both her OB/GYN residency and gynecologic oncology fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital. As a gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Cohen specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic malignancies, such as uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer. Dr. Cohen also specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopic and robotic surgery, treatment of cervical dysplasia, and management of complex non-malignant gynecological conditions.

Dr. Cohen began seeing patients in Brooklyn in 2011 and has since then become an important part of cancer care for women in Brooklyn and the neighboring communities. In addition to being the recipient of multiple awards for excellence in medicine, Dr. Cohen has recently been honored by the Brooklyn community for her work in establishing important resources for patients. In addition, Dr. Cohen was featured in both the November 2013 and September 2014 special section of the New York Times Magazine, under New York Rising Stars.

Dr. Cohen’s research activities include being a founding member of the Ovarian Cancer Translational Research Program that began at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and now is a multicenter consortium. The focus of this research has been developing a personalized approach to ovarian cancer detection and treatment, with a particular interest in next-generation sequencing to discover novel genetic changes in ovarian cancer. Her research efforts have been nationally recognized, including recent publications in the peer-reviewed journals, Gynecologic Oncology and Journal of Ovarian Research. Her research participation in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is ongoing. She is an active member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Sharyn Lewin

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Dr. Sharyn Lewin

A board certified Gynecologic Oncologist, Dr. Lewin specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of ovarian, endometrial, uterine, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers. She serves as Medical Director of the New Jersey-based Holy Name Medical Center’s Gynecologic Oncology Division.

Her practice employs a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team approach to screening, treatment, and overall improvement in quality of care for women at high risk for ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Dr. Lewin’s expertise includes radical operations for ovarian cancer, including upper abdominal and extended pelvic resections. She has extensive training in minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures and robotic techniques using the da Vinci® Surgical System. She uses intraperitoneal chemotherapy and has research interests in novel chemotherapeutic agents, including immunotherapy and hyperthermic chemotherapy (HIPEC) for recurrent ovarian cancer.

Most recently, Dr. Lewin was an Assistant Clinical Professor and a member of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Cancer, New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP), and a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. While at NYP, Dr. Lewin was the first Medical Director of the Woman to Woman Program, a cancer support initiative.

Dr. Lewin is a graduate of University of Kansas School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO, followed by a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

A national educator on hereditary genetics, cancer survivorship and state-of-the-art treatment for advanced ovarian cancer, Dr. Lewin has authored or co-authored over 100 articles, abstracts, book chapters, and made many presentations at scholarly conferences. She is a recipient of the President’s Award from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and NYP’s prestigious Physician of the Year Award

Sharyn N. Lewin, MD, FACS, FACOG, is also Founder and Executive Director of The Lewin Fund, responsible for the organization’s operations, and for setting its strategic vision. She is also the organization’s chief ambassador, responsible for advancing The Lewin Fund’s mission to invest in grassroots initiatives and research that directly support women who are afflicted with cancer and their families. She is a long-time advocate for women and women’s health and brings more than 19 years of medical, research, and community outreach experience to her role.

Rena Esposito

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Rena Esposito

When Rena Esposito’s daughter Louisa McGregor was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she stood firm by her side and dedicated herself to supporting efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease. With her extensive managerial and secretarial experience, she has helped T.E.A.L.® in multiple capacities as it has expanded throughout New York and nationwide. Rena is a wife and mother of three, with three grandchildren whom she loves dearly.

Lawrence S. Esposito

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Lawrence S. Esposito

When Lawrence Esposito’s daughter Louisa McGregor was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, he knew that he had to do everything he could to support her. He has been a big part of every decision that Louisa and her sister Pamela Esposito-Amery made since co-founding T.E.A.L.® In addition, he has been actively involved in Brooklyn’s business community for over 40 years. Larry has served as President and Treasurer of the Flatlands Lions Club, and he is a past president of both the Master Plumbers Council of the City of New York and the Kings County Master Plumbers Association. In 2006, he was recognized for his support of the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation and received the Distinguished Recognition Award from the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island. He was grateful to receive the 2009 Melvin Jones Fellowship for Humanitarian Service from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the organization’s highest honor.

John McGregor

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John McGregor

John McGregor has been raising awareness about ovarian cancer since his late wife Louisa McGregor was diagnosed in 2007. Having experienced firsthand how devastating the disease can be, he is dedicated to educating women and their families about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. John has worked in the beverage industry for over 25 years, volunteers extensively with the Boy Scouts of America, and helped his son achieve the level of Eagle Scout.

Nancy Irizarry

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Nancy Irizarry

Nancy Irizarry worked in the insurance industry for 25 years. She was a senior underwriter with marketing and underwriting experience.  In 2006, Nancy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her type of cancer is not the common epithelial. It’s called Granulose tumor. These tumors receive treatment that is similar to that in individual with germ cell or epithelial tumors. Recurrent disease may be treated with surgery or radiation therapy. She has had multiple recurrences, 4 surgeries and chemotherapy treatments.

In 2007, before she applied for disability Nancy was invited to join Woman to Woman to help them with the Spanish community. While working, Nancy would go to the hospital on Tuesday on her lunch hour to visit with patients. While being on disability she continues to go on Tuesdays to meet with patients and there were times when she would call patients at home to see how they were doing. She even provided assistance to OCRA with the Spanish community and different hospitals that didn’t have a Spanish speaking person to help with the patients of the Woman to Woman program. Nancy still currently volunteers for Woman to Woman.

In 2012, Nancy decided to start her own T.E.A.L.® Walk in Woodbury, Highland Mills, NY. Nancy had family, friends and community members that wanted to walk in her town. The event had more than 100 people and was able to raise over $5,000 and went on for two years before Nancy moved to New Jersey.

Kathleen Marcario

Kathleen Marcario Kathleen Marcario has had over a 40-year career in banking and is currently the branch manager at TD bank in Marine Park, Brooklyn. She is certified in retail banking and advanced banking operations. She has been a loyal supporter of T.E.A.L.® for many years and after her close friend was affected by ovarian […]

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Flora Poleshchuk

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Flora Poleshchuk

Flora Poleshchuk is a board certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics. Flora used to practice embryology in an IVF center where she cryopreserved eggs and embryos for women and couples battling cancer. This experience inspired Flora to become a genetic counselor and stimulated her ongoing interest in cancer genetics. After completing her genetic counseling Master’s degree in 2011, from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, she practiced clinical genetic counseling at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY where she was introduced to and partnered with T.E.A.L.®. Since 2014 Flora has been with Myriad Genetics Laboratories as a Regional Medical Specialist in the New York City area, providing ongoing cancer genetics education and support to healthcare providers in our area. Flora is currently serving as Co-chair of the Cancer Special Interest Group for the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the largest subspecialty group in the genetic counseling profession.

A life of service: Litchfield T.E.A.L.® Walk organizer Lisa

Lisa Brun Cosgrove was first and foremost a servant. She grew up as a member of the International Order of The Rainbow for Girls, a Masonically affiliated service based organization for girls between the ages of 11-21.  She held multiple different leadership positions within the order. She was involved in Girl Scouts for several years. She was very musically talented, as she both sang and played the piano as well as most reed instruments. With her singing she performed in the church choir, as well as multiple different groups within school. While she was in college she met the love of her life, Jim.  While Jim didn’t share her vocal abilities, they both enjoyed different types of music together. Shortly after graduation, the two of them were married, and remained that way for 31 years. Lisa and Jim took some time to settle into their careers as they began their family. They had three children together, who would grow up as servants as well. Jim settled into a career as a professional firefighter, Lisa finally became a fourth grade teacher. Justin, the oldest child, would grow up to join the US Navy as an aircraft director after graduating from Norwich University as a Civil Engineer, and marry a lovely young lady named Sarah Beth. Kelsey would grow up to marry a young man by the name of Stephen who would become a US Marine, after graduating from Delaware Valley College with degrees in large animal science and dairy science. They would go on to start their family with a boy and a girl. Marissa would grow up to become engaged to a US Airman, after graduating from Mitchell College with a degree in human development and family studies. 

Through all of this time and all of these changes, the one thing that was always a constant was Lisa’s will and desire to serve all those around her.  She was the Mother Advisor for the local assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, which both Kelsey and Marissa became majority members of. She was the Scout leader of the local Girl Scout troop, which both girls were also involved in. She helped out at every Boy Scouting event that Jim as the Scoutmaster, and Justin as an Eagle Scout, were involved in. She helped out at all the local agriculture fairs where the girls, who were the County leaders of the local 4H club, competed. She served as Wife, Mother, Mimi, Daughter, Sister, Teacher, and leader. 

Lisa was diagnosed in June 2014 with stage IV ovarian cancer. She was never very uncomfortable at all, she just felt a little bloated, until one day when Jim came home from work, and she turned sideways and said, “look at this, I look as if I’m eight months pregnant.” Jim took her to the hospital where she ended up being diagnosed. When the oncologist told her that she needed surgery immediately, Lisa’s reaction was, “well, it can’t be for at least a week, I have 100 people coming for Marissa’s High School graduation party!” The oncologist immediately understood Lisa’s priorities in life, and after two paracentisis over the next week she made it into surgery, where she underwent a complete hysterectomy, and debulking. Lisa was out of school until January 2015 when the students returned from Christmas break. That was the only long term period she was out for the next five years.  She was in and out of chemo multiple times where she and Jim became friends with everyone, as Lisa determined this would be classified as “date day.” The nurses actually used to move them around so they would be near someone having a bad day.  Before the end of the treatment session they would all be laughing. One day a lady said to Lisa, “how can you be so happy?” Her answer—”Hope and Faith!”

Soon thereafter, Lisa had genetic testing and found out that she had a mutation in BRCA2, one of the two BRCA genes known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. 

Still, had Lisa known earlier in her life that she carried a BRCA2 mutation, she may well have opted to undergo one of the procedures that could have been risk reducing.  And she would have wanted to tell every amazing lady® with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer to get genetically tested. Since there is currently no screening test for ovarian cancer, it’s important to understand a person’s risk and possibly family history of ovarian, breast or colon cancer, which can increase the risk of ovarian cancer. 

Lisa considered herself to be lucky to hear of this organization called T.E.A.L.®, and proceeded to Tell Every Amazing Lady® about ovarian cancer any way she could.  Her Rainbow assembly chose to institute the first annual Litchfield T.E.A.L.® Walk in September of 2014, where we raised about $1,500. Lisa was so pleased to be able to walk the whole thing. She not only participated in the ensuing five Litchfield T.E.A.L.® Walks, but actually took the reins and ran the fifth walk in 2018 herself as the Mother Advisor of the Rainbow Assembly. Jim remembers her telling him how pleased she was to be healthy enough to run the fifth walk. In July of 2019, Lisa received the news that there were no further treatment options available. In true Lisa style, she handed the reins of the T.E.A.L.® Walk over to Marissa, and told her it was her turn to serve this worthy cause. Lisa was able to walk in the sixth Litchfield T.E.A.L.® Walk in September, with a couple of breaks, but she did walk. Between the 2018 and 2019 Litchfield T.E.A.L.® Walks, over $20,000 was donated to T.E.A.L.®! Lisa’s decline was rather rapid, as the cancer attacked her digestive system. She went into hospice in the hospital for eight days, where she passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 53, on October 27, 2019.

This year, 2020, Marissa has joined together with Hope Assembly once again; to host the seventh annual Litchfield T.E.A.L.® Walk. This year, our goal is to get the whole town involved in Litchfield, CT. Lisa’s dream was to bring more knowledge to Litchfield and everywhere she went about ovarian cancer. She wanted to have the businesses in the center of town support this by putting up different teal objects in the storefront windows, as well as posters. Marissa has been speaking with the First Selectman to figure out how to make Lisa’s dream come true. When Lisa was physically present for the walks, Marissa, the team captain, made the team name “Teal We Find a Cure,” because Marissa and her family will walk and keep hosting this walk up until and beyond when a cure is found. Hope Assembly’s goal is to make this walk the largest walk Litchfield, CT, has seen. This year’s walk for T.E.A.L.® will take place on September 19th, 2020 at Litchfield Community Field in Litchfield, CT. The walk will begin at 11 am with registration starting at 10 am. For more information, feel free to contact Tell Every Amazing Lady® at info@tealwalk.org or visit www.tealwalk.org/litchfield.

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T.E.A.L.® in the 2019 Skecher’s Performance Los Angeles Marathon

Join T.E.A.L.® for the 2019 Skecher’s Performance Los Angeles Marathon and experience the sites of Los Angeles for an amazing cause. Run with an expected 24,000 participants on this iconic 26-mile course across Los Angeles. The March 24th event will begin at Dodger Stadium. Runners will then make their way across Los Angeles and make their way to the end of the course steps away from the Santa Monica Pier. Complete with gorgeous sunrise views and an unparalleled view of Los Angeles’ most popular landmarks, this is one race you definitely don’t want to miss. Visit https://telleveryamazinglady.org/lamarathon for more info about how to join Team Tell Every Amazing Lady!

T.E.A.L.® Attends North Flatbush Avenue BID Fall Fest

T.E.A.L.® participated in the Fall Festival on Flatbush Ave on Saturday, October 20th, 2018, which celebrated the completion of the 6th Avenue Triangle for pedestrian safety. T.E.A.L.® had a table at the Fall Fest and was able to educate the community about ovarian cancer, along with our programs and services. With live performances, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and games and activities for all ages, the event was a great kickoff to fall in New York, and a great way to reach more people about ovarian cancer.

Meet Anthony

Anthony first began volunteering in 2009 to help out with the first Annual Brooklyn T.E.A.L.® Walk and has been volunteering ever since.

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