Dec 27, 2011 Farah Jadran Uncategorized
With a small gathering of family and friends, the Baldwin and Bregou families unveiled a Jeep Laredo donned with the “Fight Like a Girl” logo to spread awareness for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY, Inc.
The pink’d out vehicle was given to Beth Baldwin recently as a token of appreciation for what the organization does for the community. Both the Bregou family and Driver’s Village worked together to make this “moving billboard” a reality. DV Senior Designer Chris Evans worked on the design for the vehicle. “It’s easy to do when it’s for an organization like this,” Evans said.
The Bregou family has been touched by cancer, not once, but more times than they could keep track of on some days. However, the effort is not about them, according to Lou Bregou, director of operations at Driver’s Village.
“It’s not about us or our suffering with cancer,” Lou said. “Instead, it’s about the fight against cancer and about the organization.”
Lou, a prostate cancer survivor, said he is grateful for the closeness within the family especially when his mother and three of his four sisters have been diagnosed with cancer. His grandmother passed away from stomach and pancreatic cancer.
Instead of asking, “why us?” when it comes to cancer in the Bregou family, Lou says, “why not us?”
As the family celebrates the memory of Katherine Bregou Grainger, a part of the Christian Embassy Ministry in England, they also celebrate Virginia Bregou Jablanski, who underwent another breast cancer surgery Dec. 20. Grainger was only 50 years old when she lost her battle a few weeks ago.
“I miss her,” Jablanski said, “but there’s no regrets. She was a wonderful sister.”
Both Jablanski, 59, director of human resources at Driver’s Village, and her brother Lou, 61, say that Katherine’s life was “full and very meaningful.”
“She [Katherine Grainger] loved the world,” Lou said.
Although her life was short, Lou said she got to travel the world and do the things she loved. Her husband, John Grainger, and their 10-year-old son Jonathan survive Katherine.
Lou says the family will come to Central New York in February to celebrate Katherine’s life.
Unveiling the pink-wrapped vehicle today caused the family to come together again, which has been a “positive” out of all the brushes with cancer in the Bregou family.
Beth Baldwin sat with Jablanski for 12 hours after her most recent surgery, and the sense of family was clear. Baldwin says she is very touched by the Bregou family’s gesture for the CMB Fund, and what it means to the 2012 campaign.
Baldwin’s brother, Stephen, traveled to Central New York for the Dec. 27 unveiling to show his gratitude as well. Stephen said he feels humbled by the generosity of Syracuse.
“The Central New York community has done very well over the past years raising millions for the fund,” Stephen said. “I want to be here as a motivator, to pump up Syracuse. Let’s kick some butt in 2012 and ‘fight like a girl’ to beat breast cancer!”
His mother, Carol M. Baldwin, has said for many years that she would witness a cure for breast cancer in her lifetime.
“Now I really believe it,” Stephen said.
Look for this story in print in next week’s Eagle Newspapers. Farah F. Jadran is the editor of Syracuse Woman Magazine and the associate editor of Syracuse Parent and Prime. She can be reached at email@example.com.