LA ROCHE ALUMNA CREATES PITTSBURGH ORGANIZATION TO EDUCATE ON CERVICAL CANCER
Pittsburgh, Aug. 3, 2009 – Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer. Priscilla Bordogna, a 2006 La Roche College marketing graduate, never thought she had to worry about that, until her best friend was diagnosed at age 23.
Priscilla, who was born and raised in East Pittsburgh, now works as a marketing coordinator/administrator for a healthcare technology company in downtown Pittsburgh. She watched her best friend, Katharine (Katy) Hoffmann, struggle with this rapidly growing form of cancer, and it changed both of their lives forever. Katy was diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2006, and just a short time later, her cancer had reached an advanced stage. Katy then made a heartbreaking call her to best friend – a call Priscilla will never forget.
“Katy called to tell me that the cancer had spread again,” Priscilla said. “It was inoperable, and the doctors gave her six months to live.”
But, Priscilla did not shy away from the devastating news.
“I knew I had to be her rock. I had to be the one person who was stable in her life when everything else was falling apart.”
Priscilla did just that. She also created a benefit organization to raise awareness about HPV and cervical cancer in Pittsburgh and to raise funds for the Magee-Womens Foundation. The organization, Run 2 Inspire, was started in October 2007 –
one year after Katy was diagnosed. Through Run 2 Inspire’s events, Priscilla hopes to educate, inspire and ease suffering in women of all ages.
Through persistent and intensive chemotherapy, Katy’s cancer progression started to slow. Katy’s cancer is now only a Stage 1A, meaning that it is so small it can only be seen with a microscope. She is still undergoing weekly radiation treatment.
“I struggled with my cancer many times, and it made me vulnerable to the point that I took our friendship for granted,” Katy said. “But, Priscilla saw right through me and never gave up.”
As the founder of Run 2 Inspire, Priscilla, along with Katy, created events such as “Drop Everything” and Drink!, a happy hour fund-raiser at Buckhead Saloon in Station Square, Pittsburgh; Cervical Cancer Awareness Day with the Pittsburgh Pirates, in which a percentage of the ticket sales benefit the Magee-Womens Foundation; an annual celebrity charity golf outing; and the bi-annual Purple Pin-Up Party that takes place in James Centre, Pittsburgh, that includes local food and drinks, a fashion show and DJ entertainment.
Priscilla and Katy were recently featured in an advertorial in the July 2009 issue of Shape Magazine. They also will appear in the September 2009 issues of Shape and Glamour magazines. The focus of these articles is Katy’s diagnosis, treatment and the women’s subsequent efforts to spread the word about HPV and cervical cancer.
“In 13 years, you can graduate from school, get married and have a family. In 13 years, I have built this priceless friendship with Priscilla,” Katy said. “That is something most people don’t get to experience in their lifetime.”
For more information on Run 2 Inspire or on cervical cancer, visit www.run2inspire.com.