Dec. 19, 2012
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - For the second straight year, three exceptional team players in the Capital Region's battle against breast cancer will be recognized for their efforts at Siena Women's Basketball's 13th Annual Pink Zone Game presented by Berkshire Bank on Feb. 15. Janice Pastizzo, Mandy Marchesini and Barbara McHale have been named the 2013 "Power Up the Pink" Awardees.
Pastizzo has over thirty years of experience in the health, fitness, and wellness fields as a nurse, behavioral therapist, health consultant, group fitness instructor, obesity and eating disorder specialist, and motivational speaker promoting healthy lifestyle habits throughout the Capital Region. For the past 14 years she has been Owner and Director of Fit For Life Wellness in Clifton Park where a variety of health, fitness and wellness programs are offered, including group exercise classes, individual lifestyle counseling, nutrition workshops and behavior modification sessions.
Pastizzo has provided pilates classes, weight management and wellness classes for the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!), Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Cancer Society "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer", the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, National Kidney Foundation, Saratoga Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis, Unity House, Equinox Domestic Violence, and Captain Youth & Family Services among others.
"I am honored to receive this recognition on behalf of all those volunteers who worked with me to make a difference in the lives of those served by community health organizations that we have worked for to raise funds and awareness," Pastizzo said. "I believe that together we do make a difference."
A senior at nearby Colonie Central High and a native of Loudonville, Marchesini has been involved with CRAAB! since she was in the third grade. She especially enjoys volunteering at the Pink Zone game each year and feels truly inspired by the breast cancer survivors she has met. She has put together gift bags for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and organized a "Cookies for Cancer" drive, baking Christmas cookies and delivering them to cancer patients throughout the Capital District.
Marchesini has participated in numerous other community service projects including playing in the Powder Puff football game for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, making blankets for the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center, serving as a reading tutor at Shaker Road Elementary School and serving as a counselor for several local softball clinics. She has also volunteered at the Regional Food Bank and Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk.
A member of the National Honor Society and cheerleading, volleyball and softball teams at Colonie Central, Marchesini plans to enroll at Kansas State University in the fall and major in Biology.
"I feel very proud to receive the 2013 Power Up the Pink award," says Marchesini. "I am so honored to be recognized in this way and in the company of such amazing people."
Throughout her career, McHale has been an inpatient oncology nurse, outpatient oncology clinic/infusion nurse, Hospice nurse, Public Health nurse and Manager and Breast Navigator at Samaritan Hospital's Women's Health Center in nearby Troy, N.Y. In her position, she sees and treats patients diagnosed with Breast, Colon, Head and Neck and Lung cancers.
Additionally, McHale has performed volunteer work with groups such as the ACS and Alzheimer's Society and held board positions with the Visions of Strength and Nancy Clemente Fund.
"I am overwhelmed and awed at receiving this award," said McHale. "I do what I do so that my patients get the best outcomes and feel like they are not alone on their treatment path. Life is a journey with unexpected twists and turns and you cannot change what is occurring, but you can be given the help you need to navigate through those challenges. I believe I help my patients through this journey."
The 13th Annual Pink Zone Game presented by Berkshire Bank will be held on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. when the women's basketball team hosts Rider at the Alumni Recreation Center. The event, which aims to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research, raised a record $25,853 for CRAAB! last season and a goal of $30,000 has been set for this year's game. Since the game's inception, Siena Women's Basketball has raised $75,708 for CRAAB!
For more information on the Pink Zone game including how you can get involved, click on the banner at the top of the page or visit the official Pink Zone page at SienaSaints.com/pinkzone.
About Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer
CRAAB! is a community-based non-profit organization created in 1997 by a diverse group of caregivers, health practitioners, educators, advocates and several breast cancer survivors who know first-hand about the shock of a cancer diagnosis and the need to find support. The late Patricia Brown of Siena College co-founded this organization. Dr. Brown served the Siena College biology department for 35 years. She inspired colleagues and students with her passion for teaching and her endless energy to create change.