It is truly amazing what can happen when a group of friends, new and old, come together to start something to help change and positively impact a person’s life, when that person is in their darkest hour.
Being able to help our first beneficiary and my best friend, Rena, not only made me realize the pain, suffering (physically and mentally) and lifetime of hard work that happens to those afflicted by this terrible disease, it also made me realize the beauty that comes from friends, family, friends that are like family and an entire community banding together to not only help one person fighting cervical cancer but bring awareness, education and help in the fight to stop this disease
The Teal Recovery Project is very near and dear to my heart. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such an extraordinary group of board members that I can also call great friends. Being able to make a difference in someone else’s life is truly a gift and a blessing. I get to do it through this wonderful charity we all started and have worked and continue to work very hard at to touch as many people’s lives that are struggling with cervical cancer.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday. The details of the phone call conversation are very clear. Recalling the emotions I felt can still bring tears to my eyes. My best friend was diagnosed with cervical cancer for the FIRST time in 2009. Again in 2012.
An emotional roller coaster, endless doctors appointments, long hours by a hospital bed. Recovery, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, giving up, lifting up, friendship, support, hope, survival, the fight, the LOVE.
All of these things were bundled up and have helped to build The Teal Recovery Project. A group of friends who stood by and watched what cancer can to do to someone they love. A group of friends who experienced their own exhaustion and struggles of the affects of watching this disease eat up their peer, their counterpart, their colleague, MY partner in crime.
Cancer is enough to have to handle. Paying your telephone bill or your electric bill should not be another obstacle to encounter. The TRP was established to take some worry away and to give some relief while our friend, Rena Carideo, concentrated on her road to recovery. This group has seen first hand how devastating this disease can be. It is our hope, our mission, to make a difference in another woman’s life each year that is battling this disease and help ease her road to recovery.
I moved to Tampa to open my first business here in 2007 and have loved this area ever since. I’ve been very fortunate to own and/or invest in everything from small tech start-ups to title companies, real estate, and the industry that I am most passionate about, health and fitness. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to bring my many financial experiences as well as my passion for the health and well being of others to this amazing team.
I have to be honest here I was not very aware of cervical cancer and how many people it was affecting today, until I had to experience being by someone’s side first hand as they fight. I spent many nights at the hospital while Rena was recovering from her surgery and when I couldn’t sleep in the cot that was about a foot too short for me, I would walk the halls and talk with others that had loved one’s fighting this horrible disease. Some of these young women were even younger then Rena and yet to even begin to experience life. The experience has also showed me how the support from others can be so impactful. When I learned that measures can be taken to help prevent this form of Cancer I knew we had to do something to help.
I am proud to be a part of such an amazing team and excited at the opportunity we have to make a difference in the fight against this disease and in the lives of the one’s caught in this fight. As a team and with the help of other’s I believe we can make an unparalleled difference.
Happy, healthy, and full of life, it came as a a huge shock when one of my dearest friends, Rena Carideo, was diagnosed with cervical cancer, not once, but twice. When she shared with me the awful news the first time she was diagnosed, it didn’t seem real. Heard of on the news, tv, and friends of friends…but selfishly so, it wasn’t real until it hit home. “Cancer sucks” was the motto and just like the fire cracker she is, she kicked its butt!! Among all the doctors visits, treatments, checkups, rest, and sour war heads to help with the unbearable nausea, the bills added up. In an effort to help Rena, we threw a fundraiser to raise some dough for our little fighter. It was a fabulous turnout and we raised a nice cushion. A very special evening with loved ones all there to support Rena and celebrate her freedom from cancer.
It seemed like she barely had a chance to enjoy life again before she was diagnosed for the second time. The motto was ” refuse to sink” and per usual, Rena was walking on water! When we all learned what the slim options were and the decision in which she had to make, we knew what a physical, emotional, and financial burden this would be for her, so on to plan another fundraiser we went. So many friends wanted to help and be involved, we realized it was bigger than we thought and this could be something grand! I’ll never forget when we met at Square One Burgers to have one of our first event planning meetings and we tossed around a couple names and it instantly clicked for all of us when Bianca came up with, “The Teal Recovery Project.” Then there was the logo, the flyer, the ideas, the support from the community, the radio, the newspapers, athletes, social media….it was gaining so much recognition!! The evolution of the “First Annual Teal Recovery Project Fundraiser” was a huge success and thanks to the Good Lord, our founders, and everyone who has made this charity grow to what it has become, we are able to continue to raise awareness, focus on fundraising, educate, and empower women battling cervical cancer. I’m honored to be a part of such a special charity and look forward to many more years to come!!
Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
I moved to Tampa almost 5 years ago for work, and I have fallen in love with so many things about this city. Most importantly, the relationships and friendships I’ve established during my time here have been the most meaningful.
I attended my first TRP event back in 2014 and immediately knew this was something I wanted to be a part of long-term whether as an attendee supporting the cause or a possible board role one day. I feel incredibly thankful that I was asked to consider a position on the board in 2017, assisting with planning for the 2018 event. I believe in giving back as much as possible, whenever possible so it really means a lot for me to lend my years of event planning experience to such an incredible organization that is changing lives right here in Tampa Bay.
One of my favorite quotes is, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” This inspires me to live a life of purpose even when certain things are out of my control. Life is about adapting and finding ways to change your course if you are unhappy with the current journey you are on. Either way, we refuse to sink and that is the mantra that keeps us going!
The Teal Recovery Project began in March of 2013 when a group of friends came together to help out a dear friend who was going through a tough time while recovering from cervical cancer. Our original intention was to simply have one large fundraiser to help her pay for some of her medical bills.
The response to the event was great; better than we had expected. Because of the overwhelming support & generosity from the community with that event, we realized The TRP could be something much larger than we had imagined. It became clear that this is powerful project which could allow us to educate and help others going through similar struggles. It was at this point that we decided to continue to grow the project.
I chose to stay on the board because I want to continue my involvement with this charity. I am passionate about helping others & our community, which The Teal Recovery Project allows me to do. I also get to work with some great people, which is an added bonus.
2017 was my first year being involved with The Teal Recovery Project. I am honored to come back in 2018 to be in the mix again and more excited than ever. Experiencing ‘Mission 2017: Raising for Charlotte’, listening to her story and meeting her family really sealed the deal for me falling in love with The Teal Recovery Project. The opportunity to help make a difference in someone’s life first hand is very special to me. I love our Tampa community and watching so many great people come together to help make this project so successful is contagious. The project will continue to grow so we can help as many people as we can with their journey with cervical cancer. Working together side by side to support women in need is so inspiring and I am proud to be a part of TRP.
The Teal Recovery Project is very dear to my heart. My best friend was diagnosed with cervical cancer for the second time after two good years in remission. When we got the news, the doctors had given her a very short time frame to make a choice to move forward with an extremely radical surgery or to try and fight this without it.
Myself & nine close friends banned together to try and make a difference in her life by creating The Teal Recovery Project. Not only is my best friend safe and still with us, we are now able to all work together to help raise awareness & support for other women battling this horrible disease.