Twenty years ago we collectively had a vision. Each of us has been through the dreaded diagnosis and treatment of cancer and experienced the loneliness, fear and stigma that go with it. We were fortunate to have our family and friends to pull us through, but we made a promise all those years back…
- We vowed that our daughters would be smarter than us and feel a greater sense of empowerment. We knew then that empowerment would come from being informed, knowing your options, and having a strong support system. SHAREing & CAREing is that support system.
- We believe that no one should feel alone or hopeless during a time of illness.
- We know that healthcare is not equal and part of the battle is navigating a complex system.
- We understand that in absence of a cure we must reach out to young people to help them make the connection between lifelong healthy habits and disease prevention.
SHAREing & CAREing is doing this work every day. We are on the ground and in the community, reaching out to keep people informed and opening our doors to anyone in need. We are renewing this promise to our community for the next 20 years. Technology has certainly changed the world we live in and how we communicate with one another, but the human spirit needs HOPE. SHAREing & CAREing delivers hope day-in and day-out in the form of a gentle touch or a reassuring talk and always with the wisdom that comes from life experience.
Anna Kril is one of the founders of SHAREing and CAREing, an organization started by a group of survivors who wanted to help those who suffer with this disease and instill in them the belief that one can never lose hope. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, she made a promise to herself that she would turn this diagnosis into something positive. Anna saw how fortunate she was to have a support network of friends, family and physicians to help her overcome the challenge but she realized that many others were not as fortunate. New York City, specifically Queens, did not offer services for those affected by breast cancer beyond the clinical setting. While her accomplishments and accolades are vast, Anna continually strives to advocate for those who need it most. In the coming years she wants the ability to share with and assist more individuals in their struggles and would like to reach out to the younger generations so that they are better informed. “No one should suffer alone. Practical needs must be met with the individual and family receiving support during treatment and while in remission.”
Diagnosed in 1986 with breast cancer, Lucille remembers the devastating feeling of being told the biopsy was positive. The positive diagnosis instilled a feeling of devastating fear as she knew little of this disease. Often people would refer to it as the “Big C”, just to say the word Cancer was intimidating. Being that she didn’t know of any support groups, she turned to her immediate family for much needed support and encouragement. This lack of support she felt when diagnosed ignited her drive to join Anna Kril. She joined Anna Kril, Carol Scarano and Mary Demakos and together they founded SHAREing & CAREing.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer over 20 years ago. At the time of my diagnosis I had three children living at home. As a mother you try to shield your children from your own fears. You reassure them that everything will be fine. You go on as normally you would. You go to work, shop, and keep up your outward appearance. Actually I was frightened. I had no one to confide in, I thought who would understand. It was a feeling of helplessness. When my friend Mary was diagnosed a few years later I made sure I was there for her to reassure her. I had beat breast cancer and so would she. Having support at the time of diagnosis and having someone who understands this disease accompany you to treatment is very important.
Mary Demakos, who serves as Treasurer of SHAREing & CAREing, has been involved in the nonprofit organization from its conception. A breast cancer survivor, she was contacted through a mutual friend, when Anna Kril was first diagnosed. “Back when the doctor told me I had breast cancer, I didn’t want to talk about it. No one wanted to talk about it. No one shared their diagnosis. Cancer was a word you didn’t say.” Reaching out to Anna Kril, their friendship and mutual support of each other blossomed into the desire to assist others in a similar situation. “We started as a small group and that ordinary group turned into an extended family.”