Diana’s Dreamers: Determined to Defeat Breast Cancer

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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Five years ago on October 21, Diana Denenberg Durand died after an incredible 18 year heroic battle against breast cancer. During that time she faced and DEFEATED the cancer as it re-occurred - at first in a breast, then six years later her other breast, then her bones, next to her liver, and finally in her brain.

And through it all, Diana maintained her love of life and joyful spirit. She NEVER asked, “why me?” She faced each new battle with courage and determination. Her story inspires all who hear it.


When she overcame the cancer in her liver, after 2 years of chemotherapy weekly, her loving husband Donald said to the primary doctor, “My wife must be your star patient.” The doctor proudly replied, “Oh no, Mr. Durand, your wife is our 5 star patient.”

To honor Diana and inspire others who face cancer to “never give up,” a new endowment has been established at Millersville University. Named “Diana’s Dreamers: Determined to Defeat Breast Cancer,” it will fund a national on-line collegiate organization to promote awareness among college-aged women and men.

The endowment will be launched on October 21 when Diana’s brother, Dr. Dennis Denenberg,  will present his lively “Hooray for Heroes” presentation at The Ware Center in Lancaster at 2 pm. You can purchase your tickets here. Over 75,000 parents and teachers in 40 states have heard Dr. Denenberg speak about REAL heroes over the past 23 years. His work has been featured in USA Today and he has appeared on CNN Live. All proceeds from the event go to Diana’s Dreamers.

Dr. Denenberg’s award-winning book, 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet,  will be available, with the proceeds also going to the endowment. Dr. Francine McNairy, President of Millervsille University, will introduce Dr. Denenberg.

didna-spirit-gardenIn addition to the national organization, the Diana Denenberg Durand Spirit Garden is on the campus of Millersville University. 

An annual “Breast-a-ville” is held each October to raise awareness on campus, and that event will serve as a model for other colleges once Diana’s Dreamers is operational. (Watch a video from last year's event below)

This year's Breast-a-ville will take place on Wednesday October 17th.

Finally, in the MU Health Services Building, a special room named “The Diana and Marsha Breast Cancer Awareness Center” will be dedicated on November 27, 2012, to provide information and guidance to students and others with questions about self-exams and breast cancer in general. Marsha Frerichs also faced breast cancer with incredible courage and was a dear friend of Dr. Denenberg’s.

Learn more about breast cancer by exploring stories on our website.
Read some of the personal stories about breast cancer at the Digital Quilt, and share your own!

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