Cancer Support Group Publishes Book On Healing


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WINGS-BookWINGS (Women Inspring, Nurturing, Giving Strength & Support), is Verona’s home-grown cancer support group. Since it was created in 2011, its founders have told their stories of treatment and recovery many times in the group’s free monthly support sessions. Now they have put their inspiring messages together in a book, Let Me Walk The Journey With You.

The stories in the book are organized around chakras, a concept from Indian religions that posits that there are seven spiritual energy centers in the body. Each chapter explores the healing energy that can come from that chakra. Joni Jasterzbksi is the art teacher at Brookdale and F.N. Brown elementary schools and a survivor of stage 3 breast cancer. In her chapter of the book, she talks of her surgery and treatment–and the community service project she started in recovery, Hearts of Hope. “We all have the power to make a change,” she writes. “By your hand, lives can be altered and caught up in a chain of much larger events. The very beating of your heart has meaning and purpose. Your life and what you choose to do with it matters and will affect the future.”

Holly Whitmore Denton was diagnosed with breast cancer in the Breast Cancer Awareness month of October 2008, a point of irony she notes in one of her chapters. “Hearing the word cancer next to your name is a gut punch,” she writes. “But people surrounded me with all kinds of love. And I let them.”

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WINGS will be handing out copies of its book at its March 17 meeting, and its founders and authors hope that the women who receive it will read it–and share it with others. The meeting, which will be held at the Verona Community Center from 7 to 9 p.m., will focus on meditation and is, like all WINGS programs, free. The April 12 meeting is Drumming Away Stress and on May 5, the focus is Creative Expression. There is always time for sharing after each presentation.

Diane Braschi was a young widow when she received her diagnosis. “I am continually inspired by the courage of the women I meet through WINGS,” she writes in her chapter of the book. “I do not want to be defined by my cancer, but it has changed me in more ways than just physically. I have chosen Faith over Fear and Hope over Hopelessness.”

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]



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