My name is Marge Morena. I'm originally from Maspeth, Queens, New York but I have been a resident of Cary, NC since 1996 (why did I wait so long to move to this amazing city). Even though I was very diligent in getting my annual mammograms since I turned 40, without issues (a few call-backs for "I squished you wrong"), in 2015, at the age of 66, I received the unnerving news that I had breast cancer. The radiologist told me that if I hadn't had a 3D Mammogram, my cancer would not have been found at that time and it would have been a different story. So my journey began.
I opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy on November 12, 2015 and immediate reconstruction with expanders. My exchange for permanent implants was March 2016. The best news was that my cancer was diagnosed as Stage 1 and my Oncotype was 19, with no lymph node involvement, so my oncologist advised that I didn’t need chemo or radiation, just a hormone inhibitor, Letrozole that I would take for up to 10 years. On April 9, 2023, I was able to stop the Letrozole because studies found there was no additional benefit from taking this medicine for another 3 years.
I am happy to say that my recovery was relatively easy due to the fact that my amazing husband, Rich, was by my side for every appointment and procedure and loved cooking and cleaning so I could concentrate on healing.
In 2016, we created the team “Marge Madness for 3D Mammograms” for the Komen Race for the Cure and each year it has been a wonderful experience to walk with my Pink Ribbon Sisters in this very emotional yet exciting event where we celebrate survivorship and lend our support to our Metastatic Breast Cancer Sisters.
Each year, as I approach my “cancer-versary”, I think back to 2015 and by the grace of God, my husband’s love and dedication and the love of my wonderful family and friends, I am here to do what I can to advocate for other women and men, who need support through their journey to good health.
My Second Act
In 2016, my Second Act began when I founded Marge “Madness” for 3D Mammograms. In 2019, we became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and we are licensed by the State of North Carolina.
In 2021, Marge “Madness” made its primary focus for its fundraising activities, the UNC REX Mobile Mammogram Unit. Going forward, our funding will continue to provide even more women with early detection and follow-on care that can be scheduled through their local clinics.
Over these last eight years, I have dedicated my life to getting the word out about 3D mammograms and fundraising to support mobile mammograms. By sharing my story, my aim is to bring hope and support to others during their “journey to good health” and to bring awareness to all women and men, especially those underserved and uninsured, about their potential risks and encourage everyone to be diligent in their self-exams and getting their annual 3D Mammograms. EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES!
I want to continue working hard to help take the words breast cancer out of our vocabulary so women and men in my family and in everyone's families won't have to endure hearing the difficult words “you have breast cancer” ever again.
My passion about 3D mammograms has truly become my new career and Second Act.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story.
Our Fundraising History
Since the creation of Marge “Madness” for 3D Mammograms, through the generosity of our donors, partner, sponsors and volunteers, our events have raised:
2017- 2020 ---- $30,000 for breast cancer research
2021- 2023 ---- $50,000+ for the UNC REX Mobile Mammogram Unit through Golf Tournaments and Annual Fundraiser Luncheons at the beautiful Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, NC.
In November 2022, Marge “Madness” for 3D Mammograms presented a check to the UNC REX Mobile Mammogram Unit for $25,000.
At each event, we celebrate breast cancer Survivors, Thrivers and Metavivors.
Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone for their generosity of time, talents and treasures, that made all of these events amazing.