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The inspiration behind Team Towanda foundation is the story of a woman who fought and survived a battle with breast cancer, thanks to the support of great friends and great healthcare. While receiving treatment, Judith Melchreit realized that many women facing the exact same health challenge were not receiving the same standard of care that she was receiving — because they were not covered by health insurance. Feeling every woman deserves the same care, she shared her concern with friends and Team Towanda Foundation was born with the vision of helping uninsured women receive mammograms and other breast-related services. It was this very group of girlfriends that helped Judith write a cookbook to share her positive experience, and to give tips and advice for friends of those fighting cancer. The cookbook was a huge success — over 13,000 copies have been printed to-date. Today, the Foundation raises money by selling Team Towanda merchandise online, hosting events and receiving donations. All proceeds go directly to women in need. Team Towanda Foundation is an all-volunteer organization. It became a certified 501c3 non-profit organization in 2002.
From the Team Towanda Cookbook:
In the beginning, it was just us — a group of friends — sitting around, trying to figure out how many cookbooks we should print. "Let's see — My mother will order one ... Your mother will order one ... We'll all buy one ... Maybe we should print a hundred?" Thanks to a generous donation, we were able to print 500 copies. But in truth, we had visions of carrying them around in the trunks of our cars, giving them away, etc. Well it didn't turn out that way. We have since printed more than 13,000 copies, and our story of "friends helping friends fight cancer" has traveled to more than 30 states and 15 countries. This all happened via a friend-to-friend network, with people ordering cookbooks and giving them as gifts. Someone called recently and asked us who our agent was ... We laughed ourselves silly over that one. We still are at the table, scheduling around carpools and "real job" commitments.
Attitude is Everything
"I threw myself a party two days before starting chemotherapy. I wanted to tap into the power of women and friendship to get charged up for the year ahead. My husband said he didn't 'get it.' I told him, 'I know, honey, that's why you're not invited.'"