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Leslie's Week Creates Memories that Outlast Cancer with Week-long Charitable Event
Nonprofit focuses on the 'now' for Stage 4 Breast Cancer women and their families by gifting them lasting memories through vacations.
By: Leslie's Week
Leslie M. Twohig passed away on April 2, 2011, after succumbing to inflammatory Triple Negative Breast Cancer that metastasized to her bones. She left behind two sons, two new granddaughters, and a devoted husband.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Some will overcome the challenges and achieve remission – but there are those that will go on to develop Stage 4 Breast Cancer. There is no Stage 5.
Leslie's gallant determination to smile through her incredible pain and enjoy life despite a terminal diagnosis is the inspiration behind the charitable organization LESLIE'S WEEK, whose mission it is to bring FUN and HAPPINESS to women who have heard the devastating words, "You have Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer." As a testament to these women and in honor of Leslie's life and memory, Sandra Gunn, a seemingly tireless champion for these brave women and their families, founded LESLIE'S WEEK, an organization that gifts vacations away from the dreaded disease to women whose lives have been impacted by the diagnosis and their families. With cancer TAKING so much, LESLIE'S WEEK seeks to GIVE – and in doing so, LESLIE'S WEEK "Creates Memories that Outlast Cancer."
Gunn founded LESLIE'S WEEK in 2011 with the assistance of Leslie's nurse, Carol, at the Kimmel Cancer Center. The nonprofit began with a collection of vacation homes in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and has grown to include hotel resorts and vacation homes nationwide. Each year since its inception, the organization has been able to host more families than the year before.
Families are selected from nominations which are received via the LESLIE'S WEEK website and also by third-party Breast Cancer Centers throughout the country. A few of these nominating partners include The DeCesaris Cancer Institute at Anne Arundel Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Cancer Center, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and Fox Chase Cancer Center Temple University.
LESLIE'S WEEK 2018, which kicks off on August 5, 2018, will host 35 Stage 4 Breast Cancer women and their families at the famous Dollywood's DreamMore Resort in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains – thanks to generous partners and donors. Contributing sponsors to this year's celebration of life include Makemerry, City Drive Group, L'Oréal Paris, Threads, Stronghold Ministry, Jupiter Entertainment, Queensboro, and Mind in Motion.
The week includes such innovative programs as HEART4HUSBANDS, CLUB4KIDS, and CIRCLE4STAGE4. There will additionally be a fund-raising event, CONCERT4KIDS, with details to be announced shortly.
Founder Sandra Gunn has garnered considerable recognition on behalf of LESLIE'S WEEK, mostly due to Gunn's infectious spirit and "can-do" attitude. Some of these awards include "Breast Cancer Nonprofit of the Year" (Breast Cancer Magazine, 2017), "Women of Worth" Honoree (L'Oreal Paris USA, 2016), "the 100 every day amazing" (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2015), and "Fire and Soul" Award (DeCesaris Cancer Institute, 2014). In 2018, the nonprofit achieved the Guidestar Platinum Level of Approval for the nonprofit's transparency in reporting, which is the highest level awarded.
Gunn's indelible drive and passion are palpable. Regarding LESLIE'S WEEK, Gunn sums up this effort with, "Our mission is about memories. Memories are forever!"
To learn more about LESLIE'S WEEK and how to donate to or become involved with this most deserving cause, visit the website at www.lesliesweek.org. For media inquiries and interviews, contact Sandra Gunn, Founder, at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone (410) 263-5598.