Carol is a resident of Laurel, DE. She is an ordained Evangelist and the Founder of Soul Savors Ministries International and Founder and Pastor of Victory in Grace Tabernacle in Laurel, Delaware. She has been in ministry for 22 years. Previously she worked in higher education and business for twenty-nine years. She has a Bachelors Degree in Bible Studies from Exodus School of the Bible, Cleveland, MS.
“I was born and raised in Georgetown, graduated from Georgetown High School (Now Sussex Central) and attended Delaware Hospital School of Nursing in Wilmington. After graduation, I married Frank Gordy and we raised a daughter and two sons.
In 2007, at the age of 77, I was diagnosed with grade 3 carcinoma of the left breast. A small lumpectomy was done. After much debate, I agreed to a year of chemo and radiation by the caring staff at the Tunnell Cancer Treatment Center.
As a cancer survivor, now at age 83, I still play golf. I am also active in a monthly reading club. I have traveled many places over the world. Since my treatment, my husband and I have traveled to Maine, Florida, Hawaii, and the Western National Parks. I exercise regularly by walking, gardening and at classes.
I think my background as a nurse helped me accept the treatment. Since my recovery, I have mentored other ladies through the Breast Cancer Coalition, my church and friends. I know it is very helpful as you go through treatment to talk with someone who is a survivor.”
A mammogram determined the need to see a specialist. A biopsy showed #breastcancer and DeAnna was immediately scheduled to have the lump removed in May. She needed to schedule chemotherapy and radiation, but postponed it until after her daughter’s graduation. She did not want to take a chance on side effects making her miss this special day.
When DeAnna found out she was to be a grandmother, she knew she had to see her first grandchild. That motivated her to complete my treatments and keep a detailed scrapbook of her healing process.
DeAnna says ”Eight years later, I am still here and have two granddaughters, ages 5 and 7. I am a survivor!”
|Sue (left) and Peggy|
|Left to right: Peggy, Sue, Connie Holdridge and Kathy Wiz.|
|June with Today show co-host Hoda Kotb|
If you are interested in volunteering with DBCC, click here for more information. Volunteer trainings are held quarterly throughout the state.
|Peggie with her award|
|Team “Walking for All” with their fun accessories!|
- Start Fundraising Early
- Be concise when asking for donations but also be ready to give more detail.
- Offer to input checks and donations for people.
- Throw a party for your friends who donate to your cause!Offer hors d’oeuvres and drinks for every person who donated $20 or more. This is a great way to raise money while having fun with your friends.
- Create a Spare Change fundraiser. Ask all your friends and family (or even local stores) to place a jar in a visible place to collect spare change. Pennies do add up!
- Start a Blue Jeans Friday. Ask if you can ask everyone to wear blue jeans to work if they donate $5 to your cause
- Sell yourself as a personal chef! Raffle off your cooking skills and offer a home cooked meal for two.
- Host a jewelry party for you and your friends. Charge $5 to attend and have everyone bring 1 or 2 pieces of jewelry that they don’t mind parting with, and do a silent auction or swap.
- Get the help of your company! Many employers offer matching funds programs. Your $50 donation could turn into $100!
- Use social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to reach out and ask for donations from your virtual community of friends and colleagues.
- Ask for money! Sometime the most direct route is the best. Write up a donation letter (or e-mail) and send it to 10 friends. Ask those ten friends to send it to ten of their friends. The message will quickly get out about your event, and the funds will start rolling in.
The DE-feet Breast Cancer Run/Walk will include a timed 5K Run, an untimed 5K Walk, and a 1-Mile Fun Walk. The run begins at 8 am and the walk at 9 am with registration starting at 7 am at the Tanger Outlet’s Seaside Location in the Applebee’s parking lot. You can register online here. For more information about the DE-feet Breast Cancer Run/Walk, please visit www.defeetbreastcancerwalk.org.
|Linda (center) with her daughter and son|
Rosemary Engle of Dover
What led you to your involvement with DBCC?
I actually attended the Southern Lights of Life gala before I was involved or knew how to be involved with DBCC. I then called DBCC to inquire about volunteering and was immediately invited to the Peer Mentor Training. I have been involved ever since.
What made you decide to become a peer mentor?
After attending the training, there was no question that this program was a very positive way to be involved with fellow survivors. The training itself gave me a feeling of support that I never experienced since my own diagnosis of breast cancer. We were all able to relate in a special way with each other as we shared a unique common bond. The atmosphere was one that allowed us to comfortably express our feelings and experiences that resulted from our survival journey. I knew that if I could help another survivor to gain that same freedom of expression, then this program was for me.
What have been some of your favorite volunteer opportunities with DBCC?
I have enjoyed every volunteer experience with DBCC, but I must say that being on the Fashion Show Committee for the 2012 Southern Lights of Life Gala has been my favorite opportunity.
What is a memorable moment you have had being a mentor to someone else through their breast cancer journey?
The most memorable moment as a Peer Mentor was when my mentee and I first met for lunch and we really enjoyed sharing so much. We eventually became friends and continue to keep in touch now that she has completed her treatment and can enjoy being cancer-free.
|Rosemary (right) with DBCC Program Manager Lois Wilkinson at a Nurture with Nature event|
Anything else you would like to add about DBCC or yourself?
I think that all survivors who reach out to DBCC and their various programs are able to continue their involvement and be part of the DBCC family of survivors. There are wonderful programs and events like Nurture With Nature, Southern Lights of Life, volunteer work at various health fairs, educational events, and other community activities that can keep survivors busy and involved year-round. It’s great to be able to help DBCC as a survivor, even in any small way.
|Carol Knotts (left) and Bev Michel|
Two dedicated Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition volunteers have been awarded the prestigious Bank of America Local Heroes Award. Sisters Carol Knotts and Bev Michel have been volunteering with the coalition for years helping with the Northern Lights of Life gala each fall and the Southern Lights of Life gala in the late winter. Knotts, of Chadds Ford, Pa., has raised over $300,000 for the coalition by obtaining donations for the live and silent auctions for the Northern Lights of Life event. Michel, of West Chester, donates her time and talent as a master photographer/owner of Bev Michel Photography. Michel donates portraits of the models for the Lights of Life galas and photographs the event.
The Bank of America Local Heroes Award is for those who exemplify the bank’s highest standards in community service, are champions for a vital cause, inspire others to get involved and have a special and significant impact on individuals, families, and their community. Knotts and Michel were awarded a $5,000 grant and directed their grant to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
Thank you Carol and Bev for your hard work and dedication to the fight against breast cancer!
“Only people who have walked the walk can tell you what it is like,” says Barbara Nolan, breast cancer survivor and DBCC peer mentor. Barbara, who resides in Bear, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009. “When I first found out I had breast cancer, I was panicked.”
In search of a local support group, Barbara came across DBCC’s website and called DBCC Program Director, Cathy Holloway. “She soothed a lot of my fears before my surgery,” Barbara said. Cathy then matched her with a peer mentor, a breast cancer survivor who is trained to provide support to those newly diagnosed.
“It’s rare to have an instant bond with someone you don’t know but my mentor and I became good friends.”
|Program Manager Connie Holdridge mentoring.|
Diane Duncker feels the same way. Diane was diagnosed with breast cancer while moving from York, Pa. to Lewes. “I was diagnosed around the holidays and had no family or support down here. And I didn’t really know anyone who had been through it at that time,” she said. Diane was put in touch with DBCC and was matched with a mentor. “My mentor was great with calling and helping me through my journey.”
After being diagnosed in December 2008, Gail Lanouette of Dover was referred to DBCC by her surgeon. “Within 10 days of my diagnosis I had an entire package of information from DBCC and a card from Lois [DBCC Program Manager],” she said. “I called Lois and she was so supportive and calmed my fears.” Gail was matched with a peer mentor who had a similar surgery and treatment plan.
Gail was told by her doctors that she qualified for a clinical trial. “I had so many questions so I called Lois and she was great at guiding me through the questions.” Gail chose to enroll in the clinical trial. “I knew the medicine that was helping me was made possible by other woman who enrolled in a clinical trial so I had to do it.”
|Gail Lanouette (right) with Program Manager Lois Wilkinson|
After Barbara, Diane and Gail went through surgery and treatment, they decided to become Peer Mentors themselves. “Once I felt strong enough to help someone else, I signed up for the training,” Barbara said. DBCC hosts quarterly Peer Mentor training sessions in all three counties and at Union Hospital in Cecil County, Md. The Peer Mentor Support Program provides one-on-one support for a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient from a trained breast cancer survivor.
“I knew when I finished chemo that I wanted to give back and help other women through their journey,” Gail said.
“Because if I didn’t have a mentor, I don’t think I would have been able to figure it all out.”
Gail has mentored a few women and says the peer mentor training has also helped her mentor some friends through their breast cancer journeys. “My husband was my best supporter but it is so important to have other women. Other ladies told me it was okay to feel tired and sick and shared tips with me to keep me more comfortable through my treatment,” she said. Gail explained that small pieces of wisdom like where to get lymphedema sleeves or to use cooling gel after radiation made all the difference.
Because Gail went through a clinical trial, she also participated in the DBCC Clinical Trial Peer Mentor Training program. The program is for survivors who have participated in clinical trials and want to help those newly diagnosed make educated decisions about clinical trials and dispel some of the myths about trials and research. For more information, click here.
“DBCC is phenomenal,” Gail says. “They do so much for so many people. DBCC helps those newly diagnosed through the journey – emotionally and physically. And this program is important because those newly diagnosed look at all the survivors who have been there and then they know they will be there too,” Gail said.
“When you are a peer mentor you form warm relationships and such a great camaraderie with the women you mentor,” Barbara said. The Peer Mentor Support Program is available to those newly diagnosed at no charge. “When I meet people in the community who receive a breast cancer diagnosis, I always recommend they call DBCC and get a peer mentor,” Diane said.
To learn more about the Peer Mentor Support Program, click here or call 1-866-312-DBCC.