Unfortunately, Sandy received a jolt April 2015. She found out that she is no longer just a breast cancer survivor.
She is now a breast cancer survivor diagnosed with the “M Word.” Metastatic breast cancer.
It’s a fear of every woman who has ever suffered the blow of breast cancer. One out of four people initially diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will develop metastatic breast cancer, according to the Metastatic breast cancer network.
Sandy says when she learned of the news, “Every emotion got a workout.”
Sandy is strong in her faith. She has chosen to look at her disease not as a burden, but as a way to help others.
Ordinarily, Sandy is a private person; however, Sandy wants to share her personal stories, while also educating others on Metastatic Breast Cancer and raising awareness about the importance of research needed for Metastatic Breast Cancer.
It has also become a platform to inspire others who are battling the disease.
Acknowledging that “the ending cannot be seen or predicted,” Sandy knows the love and support of her family, friends will help her face whatever lies ahead.
Through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund, Sandy formed Breast Friends Fund – BFF – a fundraising initiative with 100 percent of donated funds earmarked "restricted" for Dr. Eric Winer and his team’s breast cancer research efforts.
One of the foremost researchers on metastatic breast cancer in the country, Dr. Winer is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Winer is affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where he is Chief, Division of Women’s Cancers, and Director of the Breast Oncology Program for the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers. Dana-Farber is currently involved in 36 clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer.
There is a sense of urgency when it comes to supporting Dr. Winer in his efforts. It’s not just Sandy and her family who desperately need a cure. The entire world is waiting for it. Almost everyone has family members, friends and co-workers who have suffered from breast cancer. Please help halt this horrible, deadly disease in its tracks so Sandy’s daughters, and her friends and family -- and you and those you love -- never have to experience it. Ever.
Why Start BFF (Breast Friends Fund)?
Most charities apportion dollars towards line items other than research. Our goal is to find a cure. Breast Friends Fund originally signed a commitment with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to raise $100,000 where 100% of all donations and event proceeds will go directly to Metastatic Breast Cancer Research under the direction of Dr. Eric Winer and his research team. As of 2021 we are over $580,000 and growing. To ensure this, we are volunteer-run, and operating costs are personally funded by Craig & Sandy Cassanelli.
One of the foremost researchers on metastatic breast cancer in the country, Dr. Winer is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where he is Chief, Division of Women’s Cancers, and Director of the Breast Oncology Program for the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers. Dana-Farber is currently involved in 37 clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer.
Sandy and her family feel a sense of urgency when it comes to supporting Dr. Winer and his team, in their effort to find treatments and a cure for breast cancer. It’s not just Sandy and her family who need a miracle. The entire world needs it.
Together we can make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer for the future of our daughters, sisters, nieces, mothers, aunts and friends!