SUMMIT, NJ - Two Summit women have been named recipients of a 2012 Susan G. Komen North Jersey Journeys of Courage Award.

Donna Dwyre and her sister, Lori Apgar, along with their brother, Tommie Freda, are co-owners of Cove Carpet One in Summit. The business is a second generation company where they have worked together for twenty five years.

For 18 of those years, their family has been no stranger to the world of breast cancer. Donna was diagnosed and treated in 1993, and then Lori was diagnosed in 2005. While Lori was seeking her treatment, thanks to her very proactive doctor, she ordered a test for Donna that discovered a new diagnosis that otherwise had been undetected. In truth, Lori’s diagnosis saved Donna’s life.

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Donna and Lori have always been very open and willing to discuss their health with so many women clients who often feel compelled to share their stories or ask advice from the sisters. Their visibility in the community is not only as business women, but also as an open door for communication, connection and support to women and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® North Jersey organization.

Donna’s involvement and dedication to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® North Jersey began at its inception 15 years ago when they started in Summit. At the time Donna was very involved with Pathways, a Summit organization offering support groups and programs for women with breast or other cancers. Pathways has been a past grant recipient from Susan G. Komen. Donna was editor of the newsletter, chaired many committees and also served on the board of the Women’s Resource Center in Summit representing Pathways. She has been an attendee at The Woman’s Breast Cancer Coalition conferences in Washington, gaining insight to all aspects of the fight against breast cancer. Donna’s interest and involvement has always been by communicating and reaching out to other women survivors.

“The SGK organization inspires me with their passion for helping all women, and they never give up; they help wherever they can," Donna said. "Just like my personal fight, I never back down.”

“The Race for the Cure represents inner strength to her in dealing with her survivor journey," Lori added. "Being surrounded on race day by so many caring individuals and other survivors is a true inspiration of hope for her that she can and will survive.”

Tommie speaks lovingly of his sisters when he says, “The courage my sisters have shown, both individually and for each other, is really something to be proud of and is an example to others.”

The Race for the Cure has also been a way for Cove Carpet to show support. They designed and created a special pink ribbon carpet for the Survivor Stage when the race was held in Newark for two years. This year, all the members of Cove Carpet created a Cove Carpet One Team. Together with their employees, families and friends, they will be walking race day to honor Donna and Lori and many other women who are close to them. To show your support, you can donate to the Cove Carpet One Team by going to www.komennorthjersey.org.

As part of a public awareness campaign, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® North Jersey created an ongoing photo essay initiative entitled Journeys of Courage to honor breast cancer survivors who have had an exceptional “journey” and/or who have made an outstanding contribution to the cause. The women and men who have been honored with a place in the Journeys of Courage gallery agree to share their stories so that they may serve to heighten awareness of the disease that touched their lives.

It is a goal of this continuing project that all who see the exhibit (see the Komen website below) will be moved by the strength and courage of these heroes and be inspired to join the fight to end breast cancer forever. One in seven women in New Jersey will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and breast cancer survivors now comprise the largest group of cancer survivors in the United States. The improvement in survival reflects progress in diagnosing breast cancer at an earlier stage and advances in treatments—a living testament to the power of society and science to save lives.

For information about volunteering with the Komen North Jersey Affiliate please visit www.komennorthjersey.org or call 908-277-2904 x14.  The annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure will be held on May 6, 2012 at the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex.