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StringsforaCURE® Foundation Board of Directors 2015-2016

Elisa Guida, Founder and Executive Director

Nicole Brugger, Chairperson

Patti Larson, Treasurer and Development Director

Donna Rose Sherrange, Secretary

Brenda Berchtold

About our Board Members….

 

Board Member Bio
Elisa GuidaGuida2241ret-sm Elisa was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995 at the young age of 40. Her breast cancer would return in 2005. A professional jeweler by trade, Elisa came up with the idea of having famous musicians donate their used guitar strings, while attending a Bon Jovi concert in the winter of 2008 and thus StringsforaCURE was born. Elisa saw the need to educate, comfort, support and provide financial assistance directly to breast cancer patients during their cancer journey. StringsforaCURE became a nonprofit corporation in August 2010, achieving 501(c)(3) status in 2012. “My personal goal has become our motto: Helping cancer patients one STRING at a time.”
Nicole BruggerNicole photo_edited Nicole graduated from Grove City College with degrees in History and Secondary Education in the Social Science. She later received her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and has taught at Mercyhurst Preparatory School as well as Cathedral Prep.  She has been very involved serving on and chairing several boards and committees for Our Lady’s Christian School and Erie Home for Children and Adults, as well as volunteering for the American Heart Association.  After a meeting with Elisa regarding a piece of jewelry several years ago, Nicole knew that StringsforaCURE was a special and unique foundation and began to support and volunteer in different ways.   She currently serves as the Board Chairperson and as the Chairperson for the annual fundraiser, Pickin’ on Cancer.  “To be able to help and comfort women that are affected by cancer and make a difference in their lives is what StringsforaCure is all about. I am honored to be a part of an organization that truly cares for and focuses on the cancer patient.”  
Patti LarsonPatti_IMG_6264_web After retiring from the health care and commercial software development industries, Patti knew that she wanted to do something meaningful to help those in the community who were in need of help. A friend suggested that she meet with Elisa Guida to discuss possible ways to help out. Patti’s past computer, project management and writing skills and her passion for photography have all come together in a unique way to help out at StringsforaCURE as the Development Director – on a volunteer basis – and the Treasurer of the board. “Cancer patients are so grateful and appreciative to receive comfort baskets and books, and gas, grocery and pharmacy gift cards, as well as financial assistance through medical grants. I am also humbled by the outpouring of support that we receive from people in the local area and around the world. I am very proud to be a part of a local charity that helps so many cancer patients!”
Donna Rose Sherrange Donna Rose graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. In her later years, she obtained a Master’s Degree from Mercyhurst University in Special Education. After a career that included 12 years of employment at the Dr. Gertrude Barber Center as both a direct care provider and advocate for persons with Disabilities, Donna Rose taught Learning Support and Emotional Support in the Wattsburg Area School District until her retirement in 2014. Donna Rose met Elisa almost 36 years ago, when Elisa turned her gold class ring into a beautiful one-of-a- kind rose ring, which led them to become lifelong friends. After retirement, Donna Rose felt that she needed to put her time to good use, and StringsforaCURE was where she found her new niche as a volunteer. She has just recently joined the StringsforaCURE Board. “Since becoming a volunteer for StringsforaCURE, I have become recharged and excited about being able to help women who battle this horrendous disease. My mother had breast cancer in the 1960’s, and she was a perfect example of strength and grace throughout her journey. Through this wonderful foundation, I have been honored to have found more perfect examples of strength and grace. It truly is also one-of-a-kind.”
Brenda Berchtold
In 1986, I was 22 years old and diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I have had many reoccurrences since then. In 2013, I started on an Immunotherapy Clinical Trial at John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland. This Immunotherapy Trial has changed my life by reducing the cancer by 80% and keeping it stable. I continue to receive immunotherapy treatments at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and have never felt better. I have been married for 33 years and have two children. I worked for 25 years at Plaza Dental Associates, served on my church board for 2 years and volunteered at the Regional Cancer Center in the chemotherapy oncology infusion room. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to talk with many women who are going through breast cancer. I always let them know never to give up HOPE. I also let them know that they will always be their best health care advocate. I was first introduced to Elisa and StringsforaCURE in 2011. StringsforaCURE gift card grants have in the past help relieve some of the financial burdens that go along with receiving cancer treatments. Elisa gives 100% of her time to giving back to the people with breast cancer and her commitment along with energy is truly amazing to me. As of 2016, I am extremely proud to be a board member to such a giving organization. Since I have been living with breast cancer for 31 years, I know how much it can affect your life and being a StringsforaCURE board member provides me a platform to give back the BLESSINGS I have received.