The girls’ volleyball team at Pope John XXIII Regional High School recently raised funds for Project Self-Sufficiency’s breast health program which combines in-school education, community outreach and public relations efforts designed to increase awareness of the importance of early detection in the fight against breast cancer.  The three senior team captains, Jacqueline Taylor, Sofia Russo, and Meaghan Doherty, commented, "The Pope John Girls Volleyball Team is honored to continue to help such a worthy cause.  We are more than happy to help those in need."


“Combatting the high incidence of late stage breast cancer in this region is one of our highest priorities, and we are extremely grateful to the members of the Pope John Girls’ Volleyball team for this generous donation which will allow us to continue our breast health educational programs,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  Over the years, Project Self-Sufficiency has provided a wide array of programs in support of its breast health program, including free mammograms, public relations campaigns, community educational programs, in-school presentations, and other services.


Breast cancer is often a silent disease, with virtually no symptoms, but it is often completely curable if diagnosed in its early stages.  In 1980, the national five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer was about 74%; today that number is 99%.  There are currently more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.  One out of eight women will develop breast cancer, yet about 85% of these women have no family history of the disease.

Sign Up for Sparta Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.


According to the New Jersey Department of Health, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among New Jersey women and the second leading cause of death, after lung cancer, attributed to cancer in the state.  In 2015, 7,584 New Jersey women were diagnosed with breast cancer.  The rate at which new cases of breast cancer are being diagnosed in Sussex County, as well as in the rest of the state, is stable, according to the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control.  The county’s breast cancer death rate is also falling, in accordance with state and national trends.  However, the disease contributes to the death of 1,300 New Jersey women annually.  Access to breast cancer screenings and optimal treatments is an urgent public health issue. 


Non-profit agency Project Self-Sufficiency has served families in northwestern New Jersey for more than 30 years.  The agency’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of holistic, respectful, and comprehensive services enabling low-income single parents, teen parents, two-parent families, and displaced homemakers to achieve personal and economic self-sufficiency, family stability, and to improve their lives and the lives of their children.  The agency offers a supportive family-centered environment where life issues are addressed through a combination of individual counseling, peer support groups, case management services, parenting skills training, life skills management training, home visits, childcare and early childhood education, family activities and health education. 


To make a donation or to learn about the programs and services offered at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or visit