Friends of Pravaham

Archive for March 2010

Breast Cancer RibbonRead about the activities of Angie D’Aleo, a San Pedro, CA member of Team Pravaham USA, in the form of a letter she wrote to the Editor of her local newspaper. Naturally, Pravaham is featured in it – you figure out how and you’ll get the BIG picture :).

Dear Editor,

I had an experience with the local SP Girl Scouts which warmed my heart, as well as made me proud to have been a former Scout. But, this is only PART of an amazing story!

This last month and a half I’ve been seeking out sponsors for my own submission in the ‘decorated bra’ project that the SP Soroptomist group is hostessing as a fundraiser for low-income/not-insured women’s breast health and women’s health issues. OVER $10,000.00 have been raised and donated by them, with their yearly gala, “What a Pair,” as the main venue. Monies go to the hospital’s imaging center [for low/no cost mammograms & screening], as well as to a tuition-free, lowest-caste girls’ school for nursing assistants in Vellore, India. My own ‘arty’ bra is honoring numerous women, all battlers of breast cancer–both survivors and those passed on– and many are my sponsors.

While at the LCMSP hospital for breakfast with my husband Pete last Friday, I saw a powder-pink hoodie on display along with the flyers for “What a Pair” in a glass case. I asked in the gift shop if they had them for sale. A “sorry, no” answer sent me to the administrative office of Anne, yet another breast cancer survivor AND WAP entrant. She shared so very much information about their program for women’s breast health, as well as showing me the Comfort Bags another local ‘sorority’ of concerned women sew and assemble for those undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Included in the bag is a pink crystal bracelet with a “Love” heart charm. NONE of this–including the hoodies–was for sale. ALL are gifted to the women undergoing treatment. Their pink jackets ‘red flag’ them for TLC/VIP treatment, and the bags’ contents ease them physically: Baby powder, lotion, and gentle soap, as dictated by their doctors.

I left the hospital without a hoody, but very revved up for HOPE!

Back to the Girl Scouts: While grocery shopping Saturday at Vons on Gaffey, I found Girl Scouts had set up tables at both doors–no escaping them! I explained that I, thankfully, had been a Scout, had ALREADY purchased cookies from a little girl at my church, and wished them luck. While shopping, I decided to ‘loosen up’ and buy a box…and at the table I made small talk with the troop leader. She shared, ultimately, that it was HER troop of girls who’d made the bracelets–what’re the chances?–and that they are super-supportive of the LCMSP program and health for all women.

So, I emailed Soroptomist President Marta Valladolid [of Bringelson’s Jewelers] and told her this serendipitious vignette. She seemed really pleased in her response, with, “I’ve always said we are greater in numbers.” As if Providence put all these puzzle pieces together for me to become ‘enlightened’ by seeing ‘the big picture,’ or something.

It feels really right, the creative work so many are doing to combat the scourge of breast cancer. I applaud Vons for allowing the Girl Scouts to do their fundraising on their property; the personalized care and concern of hospital employees and concerned groups [such as the Scouts] amaze me; and the kind-hearted philanthropy of the Soroptomists inspires ME to be more and do more.

I will be at the Croation Cultural Center [7th & Pacific] Friday night to share MY bra, “I, Deux,” as well as see other artists–mostly women–proudly share THEIR bras and art pieces at this gala fundraising and pro-life happening. Out of the ashes of despair rises the phoenix of hope and wellness.

We ARE greater in numbers. This synergy WILL bring about comfort , hope, and a cure, if we join our efforts and our hearts together to finally conquer breast cancer once and for all. We stand by our stricken sisters and offer them our support and love. I am proud to be in their numbers.

Alma Angeline D’Aleo


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