SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — You could say that Tami Eagle Bowling had the perfect life. Formerly in ad sales for Bon Appetit, she quit her job two years ago to raise her two girls, both under the age of five. She and her husband had just moved from New York City into their dream house in Scotch Plains, which was featured in The New York Times real estate section’s story about the town.
Then, at age 41, she went in for a routine mammogram.
“With a clear baseline at 40 and no breast cancer history in my family, I thought there was no need for concern,” Bowling said. “I'll never forget the moment I got the phone call from the breast surgeon saying all three biopsies were malignant.”
Bowling soon learned that the cancer had already spread to her liver, which made it a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. In that moment, her world turned upside down and her perspective on life changed forever. She has not told her children, now ages 4 and 6, about her diagnosis. Metastatic breast cancer can be invisible for many years, and she hopes to have many more to spend with them.
Her current treatment is working well, and Bowling shows no evidence of disease today. But she does not take one day for granted. Her mantra is “Make Each Day Meaningful.”
As she continues to fight, Bowling has turned her efforts toward solutions, raising money for the Breast Cancer Alliance. Last week, she held a holiday fundraiser in her home for 120 people that raised more than $6,500 that will be earmarked for metastatic breast cancer research.
Event planner Jessica Silverstein helped make the fundraiser happen.
“What started as an idea grew into a family and community event to support not only Tami Eagle Bowling personally, but also Breast Cancer Alliance, Tami's chosen charity for its direct support of metastatic breast cancer research,” Silverstein said. “Securing vendors, ensuring we had the right balance of what people wanted as well as fun new concepts and confirming that the gift bags and food experiences were fabulous was a process I love to work through. Working with Tami and the executive director of Breast Cancer Alliance, Yonni Wattenmaker, was a pleasure and we’re already looking forward to next year.”
"One of the nicest things about putting this event together was that I got to know the owners of local businesses," Bowling said. "Their willingness to help was heartwarming and I feel so proud to be part of this community. One business owner said she was a stage 3 breast cancer survivor. Another told me her mom was a survivor and her sister was currently battling the disease. Breast Cancer affects one in eight women. More emphasis on research is needed to find a cure.”
To read more about Bowling’s story, and to donate, click here.
Bowling gave special thanks to local businesses that donated items and services: Banfi Wines, Van Gogh Vodka, Chandon, Stagehouse Tavern, Season Your Health; Chocolate Works of Millburn; Benvenuti Italian Specialties, Catering & Pizzeria; Swisse Pastry Shoppe; Feast Catering of Westfield; Mara's Cafe & Bakery - Fanwood; Deli King Clark; Deli King Linden; John's Meat Market; Mazzella's of Mountainside Gourmet Market; Whole Foods Clark; Juice House Garwood; Athleta; Brianna's Nutrition Kitchen LLC; Pukka tea; Spice Trail Snacks; Salt Bath Soak; TOPOphoto; À La Mode Wardrobe Consulting; Charles Studio; IT'S ORGANIZED; Salon Visage; Rodan & Fields/Brooke Feldman Poller; Monica Hahn Photography; Rebecca Schaffer; Liquid Bliss Yoga; Ellie Mroz; POE; Topilow, Allison MS, RD CDN - Eat and Be Well; Lavender Sanctuary Spa; and Party Fair, Toms River NJ.; and Lori Fitzgerald
Vendors, who donated a portion of their sales that night to the Breast Cancer Alliance, included: Bella Organici; Chloe & Isabel; Patricia & Paul Artisans of Fine Oils and Balsamics; You, Me and Wildtree; Tags and Twirls; Luckee Star Adornments; Be Craftful; Paper Ribbon & Wrap; Lularoe Karen DeBernardis; Charmed Life: VIP Keep w/ Cheryl; Sharon's Thirty One Gifts; 4Fashions; Instill Health; Peach; Beauty Counter; Elewellness; and The Real Co.