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Montco-Based Online Community For Breast Cancer Patients Readies For Annual Fundraiser

(Maribel Rodriguez gets a makeover in advance of breastcancer.org's "Rock The Ribbon" event at which she is being honored.   Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Maribel Rodriguez gets a makeover in advance of breastcancer.org’s “Rock The Ribbon” event at which she is being honored. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County-based nonprofit organization that provides online support for millions of women worldwide is holding its annual fundraiser tonight.  And three lucky breast cancer survivors got a little something extra for the evening.

“You don’t forget the date — December 27, 2012.”

That’s the day doctors told Angelina Johnson of Dover, Del. the lump she discovered in her breast was cancer.

But after 33 radiation treatments and six rounds of chemotherapy, she’s in remission and celebrating.

“I’m being pampered,” Johnson says, smiling.  “I’m staying at the Ritz, I’m getting my makeup done, pedicure, manicure.  I feel like a queen. They really make you feel special.”

It’s been a harrowing few months that Johnson says she couldn’t have gotten through without the community she found at breastcancer.org, based in Ardmore.

“Once it sunk in that I had cancer,” she says, “I went online to find out more information. And it was there.”

Diagnosed in April, Maribel Rodriguez of Havertown, Pa. also found comfort online.

“I had a biopsy on Friday, and by Tuesday I had breast cancer,” says Rodriguez, “so I spent the whole weekend online. It was a support system.”

Breastcancer.org allows women who are dealing with breast cancer to share their stories and talk to one another.

Tonight, the organization is hoping to raise money at its fourth annual “Rock the Ribbon” to keep the nonprofit going. In addition they are celebrating three women — Johnson, Rodriguez, and Helene Pileggi — through a new initiative called “Project Posh.”

“Maribel, Helene, and Angelina are really the faces of our breastcancer.org community,” says Casey Snyder, development coordinator for breastcancer.org.

She says the three women each received a personal shopping experience and cocktail-chic attire at Nordstoms, a full day of beauty at the salon Pileggi On The Square (no relation to Helene), and a night at the Ritz Carlton.

“It culminates with their attendence at Rock the Ribbon, where we will formally share their stories,” Snyder says, “so people can meet others who are going through what they are going through — treatment and diagnosis, the whole scope of breast cancer.”

Three hundred people are set to attend the gala tonight at Vie, on North Broad Street.

Follow Cherri Gregg on twitter at twitter.com/cherrigregg.

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