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Cancer touches all of us. It binds us together through the tough times. And often, it creates everlasting relationships filled with love. Read below to feel inspired or shed a tear of joy from these warm-hearted stories of friendship and family from BCPP’s community members.

A BCPP Love Story: Elizabeth ‘Liz,’ Pete & Joe

By Elizabeth Dooley


How it started.

Our story began with Pete, Joe’s brother and best friend. Peter and I were members of The Pink Angels, a breast cancer awareness and fundraising team. At our first training walk, Pete told me about his cancer diagnosis in the most positive manner. Everyone walking with Peter felt his welcoming attitude.

Suzanne Price and Daughter

Joe and Pete

Peter was a Marine based at Camp LeJeune in the 80s. He was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2008. His mission was to help others deal with cancer diagnoses and share his positive energy with everyone he met. His family was an amazing support team and participated in many cancer awareness activities with Pete. Soon, Joe was training with our team, representing Pete as his cancer progressed.

Our friendship started with Pete and became much deeper after he passed. Joe loved to talk about hiking and the mountains, and I asked him to accompany me and my newly adopted rescue, Kona, on hikes. We started exploring new trails and adventures with Kona by our side, sharing stories and memories about Peter.


Suzanne Price and Daughter

Elizabeth and Pete at a breast cancer event

Our BCPP bond.

Pete really admired BCPP and appreciated the support they provided as he navigated his cancer journey. BCPP brought Deb Cole and Pete together to testify before Congress, and they became friends and advocates. Pete intended to be part of the first New England Peaks for Prevention climb in September 2014, spearheaded by Deb. He asked Joe to represent him a few weeks before his passing. Pete told Joe that he had to meet Deb Cole and represent him on Mount Washington in September. At Pete’s funeral, Joe and Deb connected, and a few short weeks later, Joe joined Peaks for Prevention as the Mountain Shepherd. Peter was like a special glue that brought people together.

In 2016, Joe and I moved to NH together to be a little closer to the mountains. And I joined NEPP for my first event with the team that year. Totally outside my comfort zone and ability level, I hiked Mt. Washington with this amazing team, asking Pete to help me scale that rock pile just like I had done on other tough hikes before.


Suzanne Price and family

Elizabeth and Joe at the summit of Mount Washington with New England Peaks for Prevention

Love is in the air.

This past June, we planned a hike with Joe’s kids (Heather, Briana, and Steven) and grandkids (Avery, Jett, Lexi, and Jayce in utero) to celebrate my birthday on an overlook called Pinnacle Peak. Joe proposed wearing the baby carrier. During our little celebration with juice boxes, snacks, and champagne, Joe’s granddaughter Avery asked me, “Lovey, are you and Grampy going to have a baby now?”

We agreed on a few key essential elements for our wedding. At the top of that list was to ask Deb Cole to marry us. 6 weeks later, we were married by Deb on the side of Belknap Mountain. We built a small cairn with stones from important places we had collected. Kona walked us down the aisle, and Avery & Jett brought up our rings. No doubt Pete was in that little meadow with us as we said our vows.

Elizabeth and Joe are married by Deb Cole

Deb Cole officiating Elizabeth and Joe’s wedding in the Belknap Mountains

GoodLight BCPP Love Candle

GoodLight is spreading love and supporting hope, one candle at a time. Their limited-release Love collection, now in its 4th year, supports BCPP with 50¢ from the sale of every tin and $1 from every glass candle. Available now nationwide at Natural Grocers and other select retailers. GoodLight provides affordable, clean-burning candles made with 100% plant-based ingredients — breathe easy, it’s GoodLight. And while shopping for candles, check out their Love Candle Story: Spreading Love & Supporting Hope

A BCPP Love Story: Jen & Nancy

By Jen Avery

How it started. 

We met in 1984 when Nancy and my mom became partners, and Nancy moved in with us for about a year. Although they had parted ways when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in July 1987, Nancy generously returned to our house to care for our mom, my sister, and brother (ages 14 & 12), and me (age 18) until she passed away a few months later. As my mom’s caregiver, Nancy made it possible for our mom to stay at home, instead of a hospital, in her final days. The bond we shared then and now goes way beyond friends; it is the bond of a chosen family. 

Suzanne Price

Nancy at Jen’s wedding

Our BCPP bond.

When Nancy started working for BCPP (Breast Cancer Fund then) in 2009, I signed up for the organization’s email updates. As a physical therapist, I had been learning about breast cancer surgeries and treatments so that I could work with women and men who had undergone interventions to help them regain function and quality of life after these lifesaving treatments. I have also participated in several Avon & Komen walks. In 2014, when Deb Cole organized the inaugural New England Peaks for Prevention hike on Mt. Washington, I jumped at the chance to participate and support BCF (now BCPP)! 


Nancy + Jen at BCPP's New England Peaks for Prevention

Roni, Nancy, Jen & Cynthia at BCPP’s New England Peaks for Prevention

I recruited Roni Widmer, a friend since middle school who has also adored Nancy as I do, and convinced Nancy to come East for the event. For the past ten years, the three of us have met up in New Hampshire every September to join forces to support Breast Cancer Prevention Partners through New England Peaks for Prevention (NEPP). Over the years, the NEPP community itself has grown into an extended family. Since Nancy lives on the West Coast, and I live on the East Coast, there have been many years when this has been the only opportunity we have had to see each other. 



Nancy + Jen at BCPP's New England Peaks for Prevention

Roni, Jen, and Nancy at BCPP’s NEPP

An enduring friendship.

Every time Nancy and I see each other, I tend to pepper her with questions about BCPP: the bills she is working on, the bills that have passed, and how passing bills in California benefits all of us, even those of us on the East Coast. Nancy is always happy to share information with me and all of us at NEPP when she gets to talk with all of us the night before our hike. Explaining how the funds we raised for the event help BCPP identify and eliminate the factors that cause breast cancer is important for us to keep the momentum going. Having been through the cancer diagnosis of a loved one, we know all too well that the pain experienced has far-reaching impacts on family members and close friends. This has deepened our commitment to prevention.

Nancy, Jen and Roni at BCPP's New England Peaks for Prevention

Roni, Nancy, and Jen

After all, looking at the choice between finding a cure for or preventing breast cancer in the first place, as Desmond Tutu has said, “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” 

Nancy, Jen and Roni at BCPP's New England Peaks for Prevention

Nancy, Roni, Cynthia, and Jen at the summit of Mount Washington

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