, Derry, New Hampshire

October 11, 2012

Editorial: Fight against breast cancer is a community effort

Derry News

---- — Cheers to those who are supporting the fight against breast cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that means pink is competing for attention with the vivid red, orange and gold of fall foliage.

Wearing pink ribbons, clothes and other symbols can show support and help lift the spirits of those fighting breast cancer. When facing a difficult fight to return to good health, it’s important to know others are by your side.

At MaryAnn’s Diner in Derry, 16 of the diner’s servers have had pink extensions placed in their hair to show their support for the fight against breast cancer. Salon Grazie of Salem did the hair extensions for the servers.

“Everyone in here has a connection to cancer,” diner owner Christine Andreoli told reporter Julie Huss.

Many of the staff at MaryAnn’s have had personal experiences with cancer.

Susan Ingalls has worked at MaryAnn’s for three years and was proud of her pink hair.

“I lost my mother and father to cancer,” she told Huss. “I just think (the pink hair) was an awesome thing.”

Kathy Mullen said most people are affected by the disease.

“Cancer affects everybody at least once,” she said.

In Londonderry, employees of Salon Bogar were busy with nail painting and attaching pink hair extensions. Cancer has affected the family of at least two employees. Vanessa Guerin and Alexa Ruggerio have a cousin, Jaime Ruggerio, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in the year.

Jaime Ruggerio of Goffstown, has been going through aggressive chemotherapy that she expects to complete on Nov. 6.

“I’m married, have three kids and I’m back to work,” Jaime Ruggerio told reporter James Niedzinski. “I don’t have time to slow down.”

Guerin and Alexa Ruggerio are raising money to support their walk-a-thon team — called “Jaime’s Journey” — to help their cousin. So far, they have raised nearly $5,000. Proceeds from the pink hair extensions will go toward Pink Hair for Hope, while the pink manicures and pedicures will support Jaime’s Journey.

Businesses such as MaryAnn’s Diner, Salon Bogar and Salon Grazie are not only fighting cancer with their efforts. They are supporting their entire communities.

MaryAnn’s has been a fixture in downtown Derry since 1997 and is a community gathering place for the discussion of local affairs and national politics. The pink hair campaign is another way the diner supports its community.

“We are part of the community, a lot of our people live here, we’re here every day,” Andreoli said.

The pink hair campaign is great but it alone is not enough. The fight against cancer takes a great deal of money for research. We hope those who get a chuckle from all the pink hair they’ll see this month will also send a few dollars to their favorite cancer-fighting charity.

Congratulations to these businesses and others in our community who are contributing to the fight against breast cancer. Well done to all.