Breast cancer survivors recently enjoyed a unique celebration of life at Project Self-Sufficiency, complete with presentations, panel discussions, health and wellness information, music, raffles, and demonstrations about exercise and nutrition. 


Therapist, educator and author Diane Lang captivated guests with her keynote speech about finding happiness.  Break-out sessions for participants featured a guided meditation session by Just Breathe Wellness, a low-impact exercise workshop by Fitness Coaching LLC staff members, and an overview of proper nutrition by Shop Rite representatives.  A Question and Answer discussion about the latest trends in breast cancer research and treatment was facilitated by medical oncologist, Dr. May Abdo-Matkiwsky, and radiation oncologist Dr. Dhawani Parikh.  Music was provided by the Skylands Dulcimer Band.  An appearance by Project Self-Sufficiency Leadership Council Member Susan Knutsen and her therapy dog, Sam, rounded out the event.  A luncheon was sponsored by Regional Care Cancer Associates and catered by Newton Medical Center. 


Numerous vendors were on hand to offer tips on health, wellness, fashion and exercise, including Alternative Hair at Sunshine; Color Genomics; Diane Lang Counseling; Fitness Coaching, LLC; Just Breathe Wellness; Mary Kay; Newton Medical Center; NJ CEED – Sussex County Division of Health; Planned Parenthood; Project Self-Sufficiency; Shop Rite; Soul II Soul Health and Wellness; Sparta Cancer Center/Regional Cancer Care Associates; Sussex County Division of Health; and the Sussex County YMCA.  Gift certificates to local businesses and boutiques, baskets of accessories and other items were raffled off to participants throughout the event.  All activities were uniquely designed to celebrate the survival of breast cancer by local women.

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“Sussex County continues to have a high incidence of incurable breast cancer, so it is with great pride that we are able to honor those women from our area who have survived this disease,” noted Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon.  “With survival, however, comes the issue of maintaining well-being.  We are grateful to all of the individuals and organizations who joined in this special celebration of life and gave participants tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”


The Survivor Celebration was sponsored by Project Self-Sufficiency, Regional Cancer Care Associates, Sparta Cancer Center, Sussex County Office of Public Health Nursing and the Sussex County New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection. 


The breast health education project at Project Self-Sufficiency offers an abundance of services for teen girls and women throughout the year, including free mammograms and breast health education for middle schools, high schools, colleges, religious organizations and civic groups.  For more information about the breast health education program, or to find out about any of the other programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500, or visit