Images and words that often come to mind when thinking of tea are togetherness, understanding, caring, warmth and relaxation. No matter if it's hot tea, black or white, cold tea with sugar and lemon, bubbles or leaves, tea can bring a sense of comfort. Whether it's your tea ceremony, cooling down after a day in the sun, laying in bed sick, cozying up to read a book or sitting chatting around the kitchen table with friends – tea has been there.
Tea has new meaning for Josephine Bruno, a 19 year breast cancer survivor from Kamloops, British Columbia. Being Italian, drinking tea often meant that you were ill, but now tea means something much more to her.
Josephine’s story began in May 1996, when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Then and there, she made a commitment to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region (CBCF).
"Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer 19 years ago, my first duty was to go through treatment... and then to do something to raise money for breast cancer research. Fundraising for CBCF is like a good dose of medicine for me.”
And she has done just that. She participated in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure with her team of CAN-ITAL Ladies and her work colleagues. Along with her beloved nephew, Anthony Salituro, she helped to raise a tremendous $750,000 through the Pink Ribbon Charity Ball in Kamloops over 16 years. When the Pink Ribbon Tea presented by Blenz Coffee was launched in October 2014, she leaped at the opportunity to participate.
"25 guests joined me in my home to raise money for my special cause. Everything was pink – we had a wonderful time that was both fun and meaningful."
This year, she is thrilled to once again be hosting a Pink Ribbon Tea presented by Blenz Coffee – in her home – with friends and family, and will be enjoying good food, playing games and sharing stories to raise funds for the cause. She has made a commitment to the Foundation to help make funding possible to create a future without breast cancer. Josephine hopes others will host a tea party as well, and share their own personal story.