Cristin, Co-Director of Ambassadors
My name is Cristin, my sister Michon was diagnosed with stomach cancer in July of 2013, and although several years have passed since she was diagnosed I can remember it like it was yesterday. Her calls from the Urgent Care thinking her gallbladder needed to be removed to the day my dad told me she had cancer. My sister endured an uphill fight with her cancer until she passed the following July of 2014. Since her diagnosis and her death our family has been forever altered. As an Ambassador I look forward to sharing the message of Project Periwinkle and knowing that we will be providing support to families that find themselves in the same situation that mine did.
Noelle, Co-Director of Ambassadors
My mother, Tinamarie (pictured) was just 54 years young when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I was 22 at the time, had just graduated nursing school, with a little sister still in high school, along with an older brother. It was March 15, 2018 when we got the news- gastroesophogeal adenocarcinoma- our hearts sank. This was a cancer that we had never even heard of- “who the heck gets stomach cancer?” we all thought.
The battleground was laid out and her oncologist came up with a plan- chemo, radiation, then removal of her stomach- “Don’t worry too much, Tina, we’re fighting for a cure here”. In April my warrior of a mother underwent chemo and radiation, as planned, and finished it June 15, 2018. In July we came to realize that we weren’t just fighting for a cure- but for her life. On August 5, 2018- less than 5 months after her diagnosis, my beautiful mother joined her parents in Heaven, after a VERY hard fought battle.
I have decided to become an ambassador to make this horrible disease, that is too often underestimated, and overlooked, better known- to help parents to live long enough to grow old with not only their own kids, but with their grandkids. Raising awareness for stomach cancer and project periwinkle has become a huge part of my life and I am always open to talk about people’s personal or family struggles with this disease.
Gina DiCarlo, Ambassador
My name is Gina, my Mom’s boyfriend of 25 years, Frankie, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2016.Frankie’s cancer was aggressive and quickly metastasized throughout his entire body. Almost as quickly as he was diagnosed, he passed away on August 16, 2017. Frankie was awarded ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ by the Knights of Columbus before his passing, an honor that only scratches the surface of the exceptional man he was, and always will be. He loved me, and he showed it continuously throughout his life, even when I was hard to love. Through his death, I am continuously inspired to be more like Frankie every day – giving of my time, energy, and compassion to those who need it. For my birthday, I started a fundraiser on Facebook for Project Periwinkle and was blown away by the support of my family and friends, far surpassing my fundraising goal. That birthday fundraiser has brought me here, as an Ambassador for Project Periwinkle and warrior for Frankie and every person who has lost their battle with this aggressive form of cancer. As an Ambassador, my goal is to spread awareness about stomach cancer with hopes of leading patients to earlier diagnosis. It is through research and individual awareness that we can begin to save the lives of the exceptional people we love.
Kimberly Lydtin, Ambassador
New York, USA
Hi, My name is Kimberly Lydtin, and I work as a Speech Language Pathologist in Queens, NY. I am so happy and grateful to be part of this amazing opportunity to share awareness on stomach cancer. I truly believe that spreading awareness is the key to combating this brutal disease. My mom was diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer in October 2017 and we lost her a year later in November 2018. She was only 63 years old. She battled bravely and with such courage but the cancer advanced very quickly. Unfortunately, not enough research has been done to provide many options for patients that are in advanced stages. That's why awareness and research are so crucial. I joined this organization in memory of my mom and for my sister who is also battling cancer. Let's spread awareness and hope together!
Carl Handy, Ambassador
Georgetown, Guyana, South America
Hi there, I’m Carl Handy and I work as User Experience Designer and Embedded System Engineer in Guyana, South America. My foster mother, Wonetta, was diagnosed in January 2019 with stomach cancer. As a Periwinkle Ambassador my aim is to spread awareness in my country and the wider region in hopes that governments will do more to fund cancer research and provide hospitals with the equipment and personnel necessary to fight this disease.
South Carolina, USA
Hi, my name is Madison Whitaker and my personal connection to this cause is that a very close family friend of ours fell ill to this disastrous disease in 2015. Day after day and month after month I watched him go through this disease and I watched as he got weaker and weaker. He sadly passed away in 2016 and it still affects me to this day. I hope to be able to spread the word and find a cure for this disease and reach out to people and/or families going through the same thing I did. I know during tough times it’s always nice to have a helping hand or just someone to talk to and I want to be that person.