Support Connection is proud to introduce the Walk Ambassadors for our 2023 Support-A-Walk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Carrie & Bella Tropea, Volunteers & Donors, and Nancy Stingone, Board Member, Volunteer, & Donor.
Walk Ambassadors are supporters who share their personal stories to illustrate the spirit and purpose of this uplifting annual event.
Carrie & Bella Tropea: Longtime Volunteers & Donors
Carrie & Bella’s Story
I reached out to the Support Connection in 1997, during my senior year of High School. My mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 46. She had felt a lump behind her left breast and had gone to see her gynecologist. The doctor kept sending her away and saying that it was just fat tissue from the beginning stages of menopause. My father was persistent, however, and they finally found a doctor who took them seriously and performed an MRI. The MRI showed a lump the size of a grapefruit behind her left breast.
I discussed our family with Kathy and how each one of us was dealing with the news. After our discussion, I decided to create a team in honor of my mother’s fight against this horrible disease. Team “Friends of Caroline” has been walking since 1997. In 2007, my brave mother lost her battle with breast cancer. We now walk in loving memory of my mother. The Support Connection staff and counselors were a true blessing during our family’s difficult time. They continued to offer their support to our family even after our loss. This is why I continue to help with the Support-A-Walk each year. I want to be able to give back to them the same way they were able to give to our family.
My daughter, Isabella (“Bella”) was born in 2009. She has always been told about my mother, her grandmother, and what an amazing woman she was. Bella has been part of our team, in some capacity, since birth. Since the age of nine, she has been able to be more hands-on in helping get the word out regarding the Support-A-Walk. She has been helping provide outreach as well as helping hang flyers around the community. Bella also creates and updates our team banner each year.
The support that Support Connection has provided our family is indescribable. They not only helped my mom, but they also welcomed us with open arms. “Cancer is a family affair,” and it affects every member in different ways. The service they provide is a valuable asset to the community. The staff and counselors are angels sent from above.
Being a Walk Ambassador
I am grateful and honored that Bella and I have been chosen as Walk Ambassadors for the 2023 Support-A-Walk. It is humbling to be able to help this amazing organization after all the help they have provided our family. I hope that by sharing my story with others that are going through what I have gone through, they will realize just how important we are to our diagnosed family member. It is important for them to know that they are not alone, and we will help them navigate their journey together. I love being able to reach out to our community and help raise money so that this organization can continue to help others. This is why I formed our team and why I will continue to walk for as long as I am able to. To walk as a team, surrounded by our community and loved ones while keeping my mom’s memory alive, is a great feeling. I am so glad that I am able to share this experience with my daughter.
Nancy Stingone: Board Member, Longtime Volunteer & Donor
I am so grateful and honored to be chosen as an Ambassador for Support Connection’s Support-A-Walk this year! I have a personal connection to their mission, as my sister, Louise Zayas, passed away in 2015 of ovarian cancer. She was the strongest woman I know and fought the good fight till the end. She is now our Angel. The emotional support, resources, and educated guidance Support Connection offers to women navigating the journey my sister traveled is valuable beyond words.
I encourage and hope to inspire others to give to Support Connection. We all know someone who is affected by breast, ovarian, or other gynecological cancers. This organization offers cancer support programs and services that are unlimited for as long as you need them. When you need them, they will be there. Tell your friends and family to reach out when they feel all hope is lost and they don’t know where to turn. No one fighting these cancers needs to feel alone.
Being a Walk Ambassador
I am so grateful to be able to “gift” back to this amazing, supportive organization.
Click here to hear Nancy’s dedication in her own words.