locally owned since 1854

Everyday people help in the fight vs. breast cancer, opioid addiction: Editorial

Posted 4/10/18

Ordinary people in our community make a difference every day.

It seems like a obvious statement, but it bears some further consideration when you look at the stories involving two residents we …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Everyday people help in the fight vs. breast cancer, opioid addiction: Editorial

Posted

Ordinary people in our community make a difference every day.

It seems like a obvious statement, but it bears some further consideration when you look at the stories involving two residents we have published recently.

Two women used major challenges in their lives to help others.

Leigh Hurst started Feel Your Boobies Foundation in 2004 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 33 years old, a marathon runner with no history of breast cancer in her family.

The phrase “Feel Your Boobies” started out as a lighthearted reminder for other women to do self-exams. Then response to the T-shirts bearing the phrase went wild. In six to eight weeks, Hurst raised around $15,000 from her T-shirts. She converted her T-shirt business into a nonprofit organization directly targeting women younger than 40.

According to its website, it is a “501(c)3 nonprofit breast cancer organization that promotes proactive breast health in young women through strategic education and outreach programs.”  

It provides breast cancer education to 200 universities and colleges nationwide.

On Saturday, it will hold its first Tutu 2K Walk and 5K Run at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Response was so overwhelming that they far exceeded the number of participants they expected for the event, and they closed registration early.

That is impressive.

The organization recently moved to the WITF building in Swatara Township from Hurst’s Middletown home.

Wendy Loranzo faced a different type of challenge.

Her daughter Elizabeth died from a drug overdose on March 19, 2017, in Londonderry Township.

Before it happened, Loranzo said she didn’t really know anything about heroin or fentanyl, the substance that was responsible for Elizabeth’s death.

Loranzo, who lives in Middletown, knew from the start that she would stand up at her daughter’s funeral and tell everyone there that Elizabeth had died of a heroin overdose.

She later created the Elizabeth Loranzo iCare Foundation, a nonprofit organization people can contact if they or someone they know are dealing with heroin addiction and need help.

It is a “nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to helping individuals battling addiction, provide financial resources to those needing help to pay for treatment, educate parents and loved ones and to save lives,” according to its website.

Wendy Loranzo always has a big picture of Elizabeth sitting next to her when she takes part in public presentations.

Elizabeth’s fiance, Kyle Cox, has become a resource to others on heroin who are trying to find a way out. These people call Wendy at all hours of the day and night. She often gives them Cox’s phone number.

We realize that not all people respond to grief in the same way. Some turn inward. We understand.

But we are fortunate that some among us can take their personal challenges and use them to help others in similar situations.

One day, there will be a cure for breast cancer. One day, we will figure out how to beat the opioid crisis. And on the days those things happen, Leigh Hurst and Wendy Loranzo will undoubtedly be overjoyed.

But until then, we wish both organizations and both women the very best. Day after day, these members of our community are making a difference.

For that, we thank them.