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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

ADVANCE & Dansko Announce Breast Cancer Heroes Contest Winner

Published November 8, 2011 1:30 PM by ADVANCE Staff
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Breast Cancer Heroes contest. Your entries were truly inspiring and captured the spirit of survival shared by those affected by breast cancer and their families.

While choosing a winner was a difficult choice for our judges, one entry stood out: David Denneno described his wife's determination to balance her career in nursing with the challenges of raising two daughters - all while battling breast cancer. David's entry also highlighted how this insidious disease affects the entire family. Thus, ADVANCE and our partner Dansko are proud to announce that David has been chosen as the winner!

As the winner, David will receive a Dansko gift bag to present to his wife Mary. The gift bag will include a pair of Dansko's pink or black patent ribbon clogs, two pairs of socks, a pedicure kit and a pink ribbon bag.

Dansko and ADVANCE would like to congratulate the Denneno's and we wish you a lifetime of health and happiness!

“Mary Denneno and family at the Breast Cancer walk in South Yarmouth , MA on October 16th 2011.” Here's David's entry:
I met my hero in 1988 while working as an EMT in the City of Quincy, Massachusetts. I encountered a nurse on the night shift that would capture my heart. Within a year, Mary and I were married. Mary convinced me to go back to school to become a nurse. She supported me through school emotionally and financially. Soon after, we were blessed with 2 daughters, Victoria and Emily. After working all day, she took over caring for the girls while I slept before going to my night shifts.  Throughout the years, she has taken unbelievable care of us. Next month we will be married for 23, and I cannot imagine living without her. Three years ago Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer through a routine mammogram. She came home and shared the news. The incredible part was we were two emergency nurses with a combine total of 54 years of experience, and we could not comprehend or understand what we were being told, and even worse, do anything about it. Surgery, medication and radiation was the course of treatment. This past Sunday I watched my hero/wife, Mary, draped with her survivor sash, walk hand in hand with our 2 daughters across the finish line at the South Yarmouth, MA Breast Cancer Walk. Mary has been in healthcare for over 35 years, taking care of and advocating for patients.  Throughout her treatment, she never missed a day of work. I always said if I could raise my children half as good as my mother did me, I would be happy. Well, if I could be half as strong as my wife, I would be happy. The other heroes are the kind and compassionate caregivers that take care of our loved ones who are diagnosed and treated. In the words of William Shakespeare: "I can no answer make, but thanks and thanks." - David A. Denneno APRN-BC, MSN, MEd, CEN, Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Attleboro MA

To read all the entries, click here.

posted by ADVANCE Staff


Dave and I were EMT partners, co-workers, and best friends for many years. I was upset when I heard about Mary's diagnosis. I knew she had the determination to get thru this. She was the first person "I knew" that was diagnosed. A short time later my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She too was a fighter and a survivor. Mary offered to speak with my sister to help her get thru the struggles. Dave and Mary are 2 great people and ADVANCE and Dansko made a GREAT choice selecting them as the winner! Congrats to you guys, Dave and Mary!!! Steve

Steve Perreault November 8, 2011 9:27 PM
Nova Scotia, Canada

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