DBCC Staff Profile: Laura Nadel

DBCC is a state-wide, local nonprofit with offices in all three counties. We have 17 full- and part-time staff members who work together to provide programs and services in the community. We will begin to profile staff members individually to get to know more about what they do for DBCC and the community.
Laura Nadel, Women’s Mobile Health Screening Program Coordinator
Hometown: I’m originally from Rock Hall, MD and currently live in Magnolia, DE.
Laura and her daughters
Background:I graduated in 1998 from Wesley College in Dover, DE with a BA in Communications.  After college I moved to the Philadelphia area (with my future husband) where I worked in advertising at Earle Palmer Brown and then as a consultant for Comcast Corporate Communications in their internal advertising/creative services department.  My husband and I moved back to Dover, DE in November 2003 to care for his mother who was very ill with pancreatic cancer.  After she passed away, it made me want to work in a field that focused more on helping people.  In January of 2006, I left my job at the Delaware State News and came to work for Women’s Mobile Health Screening (WMHS).
WMHS is a subsidiary of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition that provides mammography services to low income, unisured and underinsured women through the State of Delaware’s Screening for Life Program. The mobile mammography van is owned by the State of Delaware. You can learn more here.
What do you do at DBCC?I’m the program coordinator for WMHS.  I schedule private screening sites for the van and maintain our relationships with all of our monthly screening partners like Westside Family Healthcare and Claymont Community Center.  I enroll clients into Screening for Life (SFL), and manage all of the mammography van screening data and results.
Favorite hobby?Spending time with my family.  I’m a water girl, so I love boating on the Chesapeake Bay and teaching my girls how to crab, fish and water ski!
Favorite place to go in Delaware?  I enjoy all of the Delaware beach towns, they are each unique and we visit them quite frequently for day trips.
Favorite part about working at DBCC?  Enrolling women into the Screening for Life (SFL) program.  Many times women don’t know that there are programs available to help pay for necessary preventative screenings (clinical breast exams, pelvic exam, mammogram and colonoscopy).   When they find out that they qualify for SFL they are truly thankful and it makes me feel good to know that I helped them to obtain coverage for these screenings and in essence, removed a barrier.
Laura is leaving the organization in May 2013 and had this to say, “I have very much enjoyed working here for the past 7 ½ years and I’m so proud to have been a part of the Women’s Mobile Health Screening team and DBCC.  This is such a wonderful organization filled with great people and I wish you all much success in the future!”
On behalf of all the women and men we serve, DBCC would like to thank Laura for her years of service and her passion and dedication to helping women obtain their breast cancer screenings. Thank you Laura!

DBCC Staff Profile: Carolina Vano Johnson

DBCC is a state-wide, local nonprofit with offices in all three counties. We have 17 full- and part-time staff members who work together to provide programs and services in the community. We will begin to profile staff members individually to get to know more about what they do for DBCC and the community.

Carolina Vano Johnson, Bilingual Scheduler
Hometown: Since I moved to the US two years ago I have lived in Clayton, DE but I am originally from Alcoy, Alicantea nice little town on the east coast of Spain surrounded by mountains.

Carolina in her hometown in Spain
Background: I have a Bachelors degree in Economics and Business Administration and also a Masters degree in Internationalization of Enterprises. I have always worked in the administration and financial departments for small companies and large corporations.  Though I have years of experience in those fields I have had difficulty finding employment in the US. Fortunately one day I found this job listing in the newspaper and so I thought…”this may be my chance.” DBCC gave me the opportunity I was looking for to prove myself here and now this occasion has turned into a very rewarding experience. 
What do you do at DBCC? I am a bilingual Spanish-English scheduler and sometimes I translate for our Spanish patients on the mammography van. 
Favorite hobby? I love spending time with my family and enjoying the nature here in Delaware. There are lots of Natural Parks so we try not to miss any opportunity we have to go camping, trekking, riding bicycles, watching wild life and fishing in the Delaware Bay. 
Favorite place to go in Delaware? Bombay Hook and Cape Henlopen–all seasons, they are both gorgeous!
Favorite part about working at DBCC? Working at DBCC is the most grateful job I have ever had. Not only because of the great team that I have the opportunity to work with everyday who go above and beyond in the fight against breast cancer, but also because of all the support and gratitude of all the women that I have the pleasure to speak with everyday.

To contact Carolina, please email cjohnson (at) debreastcancer.org.

Tribute to Deloris Donnelly, Co-founder of the Nurture with Nature Program

Deloris kayaking at a Nurture with Nature outing.

Growing up in Virginia, Deloris Donnelly learned to love and appreciate the great outdoors at a young age.  She developed a knack for teaching others about nature and has served as a nature educator, teacher, naturalist, master gardener, and even sat on the Governor’s Commission for Parks & Recreation.  Nature has always been a big part of her life and with the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s Nurture with Nature program, she has shared her knowledge and passion with breast cancer survivors for more than 5 years.

After her own breast cancer journey, Deloris asked DBCC Program Manager Lois Wilkinson if she would like to start a hiking group for breast cancer survivors.  And in 2006, the Nurture with Nature program was born when Lois and Deloris hosted their first outing at Abbott’s Mill.  Deloris recalls a wide variety of ladies showed up for this first event and they all had one thing in common: they all had their own breast cancer journey.  “People didn’t know each other at that event but they learned a few new things about nature and they were excited about it.”

Nurture with Nature at Redden State Forrest in October 2011

Additional Nurture with Nuture photos on DBCC’s Flickr site.

After that first event, Deloris and Lois recognized a real need for this type of program. “The goal was to get breast cancer survivors outdoors and get their minds away from treatment and cancer,” Deloris said.  Lois and Deloris started planning monthly outings at different state parks and nature centers throughout the First State.  They have visited places like Peterson Nature Center, Bombay Hook, Assawoman Bay, and many more and have hosted a wide variety of programs including wildflower hiking, birding, biking, shelling and various other outdoor activities.

The Nurture with Nature program has also served as a great introduction to Delaware for many breast cancer survivors.  “There were a lot of survivors who were new to Delaware and this was a great way to introduce them to a warm, welcoming group and explore some of the most beautiful places in Delaware,” Deloris said.  Even the longtime Delawareans discover some places in Delaware that they didn’t know about.

Deloris talking to the survivors at Slaughter Beach.

Deloris has received great support from participants of the Nurture with Nature program.  “Some ladies don’t particularly like nature but they grow and blossom in the program,” she said. “Sometimes we have a new participant, who is hesitant to try something new like kayaking, but we pair them with someone who has done it before and they always have a good time and want to do it again.”

Nurture with Nature co-founder Lois Wilkinson says that she could not have started the program without her.  “Deloris has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to nature. She has introduced all of Delaware’s state parks to us and shown survivors the benefits of being out in nature while healing and recovering from breast cancer.”  Deloris says that she just wanted to find a way to share her love of nature with other people.  “I think for some breast cancer survivors the traditional, indoor support groups can be very tense and fearful.  Many find it much easier to talk during the outdoor activities that are relaxing and educational,” she said.

After more than 5 years with the program, Deloris will be leaving Delaware to move to the Sunshine State, Florida. On behalf of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and all of the survivors whose lives she has touched, THANK YOU Deloris for your leadership and for sharing your knowledge, time and talent.

Testimonials from Nurture with Nature participants:

“It really helped getting exercise and helping to get your thoughts on nature.  Deloris is a wonderful person.  We are really going to miss a good friend and cancer survivor.”—Joan Golden

“The Nurture with Nature program has been extremely beneficial. It provides such a welcomed opportunity to enjoy nature and to become immersed in the miracles that it presents.  Having someone with Deloris’ expertise and genuine love of nature make the experiences all the more wonderful.  Her generosity of spirit, her compassion and support, and her sensitivity to each person’s circumstances are both endearing and quite unique. All of us have been touched in such a positive and substantive way by her presence and involvement.” –Susan Chaffinch

“I have always enjoyed the beauty and calming effect of nature.  Having the opportunity to share that feeling in the company of fellow breast cancer survivors is wonderful—and then to learn so much information in a fun and interesting way on top of all that from Deloris, not only a survivor, but an extremely knowledgeable naturalist as well—that’s amazing!” –Merry Jones

For more information about the Nurture with Nature program, please contact DBCC Program Manager Lois Wilkinson at lwilkinson@debreastcancer.org or 302-672-6435.

Two DBCC Staff Members Complete NBCC’s Project LEAD Training in California

Two DBCC Staff Members, Kelly Kershaw and Caitlin Dalik, both of the Wilmington office, graduated from the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) Project LEAD Institute.  Kelly and Caitlin participated in the course on July 17-22, 2011 in La Jolla, California.  The course enrolled 50 breast cancer advocates from all over the country.  The Project LEAD Institute is an intensive 6-day course which trains breast cancer advocates in the science of breast cancer so that they can better understand and analyze breast cancer research and policy.  The course included lessons on the language and concepts of cancer biology, basic epidemiology, research methodology, and more.  Several other DBCC Staff members have also completed the course.

Photo caption: Kershaw (left) and Dalik of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition on a Project LEAD Institute field trip at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.  Scripps is a medical research facility that focuses on research in the basic biomedical sciences.