Wine Guide Stories: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Wine Guide Stories: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is annually recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. In partnership with the Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) organization, Traveling Vineyard is honored to release a new vintage of our Rayado Cabernet Sauvignon, a charity wine benefiting women living with breast cancer. LBBC is a non-profit organization that connects people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support.

With love and in memory, we dedicate this vintage of Rayado in part to Wine Guide Rebecca Nadler.

Rayado has the distinction of being our very first charity wine, originally launched in 2014, in honor of Vineyard Wine Guide Paigeann Mapley-Brittle who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2013. At that time, we did not know the wide-ranging impact this label would have, or that it would come to represent the beautiful life and legacy of another Wine Guide and friend, Rebecca Nadler, who lost her battle with breast cancer in November 2019. We dedicate this vintage to Paigeann and Rebecca, and we give with love $1 from the sale of each bottle of Rayado to Living Beyond Breast Cancer. To date, Traveling Vineyard has donated a total of $110,416 to LBBC (September 2022), and we look forward to increasing that figure again this year.

Many Wine Guides in our Traveling Vineyard family have been impacted by breast cancer. Our goal is to make a difference with Rayado through LBBC and its “vision of creating a world where no one impacted by breast cancer feels uninformed or alone. As part of this, we’re shining a light on those in our Wine Guide community who have been personally impacted by Breast Cancer and ask you to respectfully join us in supporting and celebrating their journey:

From Wine Guide, Juanita Cerrato

“My name is Juanita Cerreto and I was diagnosed in June of 2009 at the age of 27 with stage 3 breast cancer. The year was a very busy one for me and my family. I had just given birth to our second son in February of 2009. My future husband and I were caring for a newborn, relocating with our jobs from New Jersey to Maryland, selling our separate condos to purchase a new home, planning for our wedding and honeymoon all to occur by September of the same year. Being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer really took us for a loop with everything we had going on. I was in huge denial because of my age, and it was not hereditary in my family at all. The first thing which entered my mind were my children and how this disease would affect their lives. The last thing I wanted was to leave this earth not being able to help raise our 4-year and 4-month-old sons. Knowing how it was to be a single parent (prior to me meeting my fiancé), I could not pass the burden onto my soon to be husband.

Many have asked how and where I received my strength to pull through. Most of my strength comes from God because without Him, I would not be here. I always had faith in Him, but my faith grew tremendously during this journey of my life. I was always a fighter and a constant go-getter by nature, but I truly believe God had plans for me. This disease was what I had to go through to become stronger, not only for myself, but for those who were surrounding me. My family and close friends played an instrumental part being my continuous support system throughout this entire process. They have helped me overcome this debilitating disease. After numerous treatments, radiation, and surgeries, the doctors stated because of the anti-cancerous medication I had to take, my body may not bear any more children. My husband and I were satisfied, but God had other plans. In the fall of 2011, we found out we were expecting again and in May of 2012, our third son, Jeremiah, was born. He was named after the verse Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord…plans to give you a future and a hope.” This verse has helped me push and pull through the process and I am forever grateful.

As I was going through this journey many doctors were amazed at my progress and my spirits throughout this entire process considering the stage the cancer was already in. They mentioned I had a gift of inspiration, and I should share my story to spread the hope to many. For all the women and men going through this type of journey, I just want to say to never give up. The road to recovery will be long and tough but search deep down within yourself and dig out your “why” for your life. There is always a positive to a negative. We all have a purpose in the life we are given. I truly believe things happen for a reason even though we may not like it or understand it at first but allow yourself the opportunity to see all the goodness and blessings the future holds for you. Isaiah 44:2 says, “I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were even born.

Now it is 2022, I am currently doing very well, and this December will mark 13 years of being cancer FREE!”

From Wine Guide, Samantha Rogers

“I am 39 and I was diagnosed with Stage 2 invasive mucinous carcinoma this June. I am currently half way through chemotherapy and awaiting surgery. I am looking forward to ringing the bell in July when I complete my targeted infusion therapy! After I found out, I considered resigning, but I love Traveling Vineyard so much. Although I don’t get to enjoy very much wine at the moment, I am still excited to share wine with others! The severity of all of this still blows me away. I found a lump and my whole world turned upside down in that instance. I feel incredibly lucky to have caught this early and have managed to stay pretty positive thus far. I hope that by sharing my story others will remember to self exam or go get their first mammogram ❤️”

From Wine Guide, Sabina Whittall-Thoreau

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 – writing this I can not believe it has been 10 years! Radiation and chemotherapy significantly changed my life, I now have a chronic disability that makes living day to day difficult. Although these life saving treatments saved my life, they also changed my body. Once a meat lover, I was forced into a vegetarian life as I can no longer process animal protein. It was a difficult change, but I’ve learned to listen to my body. Although I do miss a good BBQ or steak every once in awhile, I am so happy to be alive. Especially since I’ve become a grandmother. Watching my grandchildren grow, and seeing my own little girls become amazing mothers.

Fast forward to May 2022 I decided to join the #wineguidelife and start a business on my terms. It’s been a slow process but that is what I love about Traveling Vineyard; no penalties if I don’t meet a sales minimum. And giving me a lot of encouragement along the way. I have met some amazing fellow wine guide brothers and sister and love the community that Traveling Vineyard fosters. I’m encouraged that some day I will walk across that stage accepting some hard earned rewards – but most importantly I get to share some incredible wines and meet some amazing wine loving friends along the way.
Thanks WHQ for creating a wine that supports Breast Cancer Awareness—without companies like Traveling Vineyard, I would not be here today , thriving with each day!”

From Wine Guide, Crystal Williams

“Hello my name is Crystal Williams and I’m a newbie but I’m ready for take off for my 1st wine tasting party Oct 22 and I’m EXCITED! I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of this year. I’m going to chemo treatments every other Thursday for eight weeks, then 20 more week for part two of chemo. I know GOD is by my side. I just ask for everyone to lift me up in prayer. Lisa Grant is my go to person and she has giving me some much encouragement and calls me often I thank her from the bottom of my heart.”

From Wine Guide, Nancy McNulty

“I struggled with breast cancer last year, 2021—with a series of surgeries, medication and radiation. It was a battle but grateful I’m still alive. TTV has been part of my journey helping me get through the difficult times. Although my oncologist made me cut out my daily wine glass, I am still able to drink my favorite wine in moderation! I am so grateful for TTV supporting the cause and plan to help sell the wine to increase the support.”

From Wine Guide, Nancy Kollhoff

“I started this business because our tastings are so much fun! But two months after starting, I received a breast cancer diagnosis. I will say, that if you HAVE to have breast cancer, I got the one you want–it was caught early, it is a slow-growing cancer, and it responds to hormone therapy. However, this doesn’t minimize the costs of surgery, radiation, therapy for dealing with side effects, ongoing drug costs, and other tests for things that might otherwise have been dismissed, but now I have a “history of breast cancer.” My hospital and clinic allowed me to make monthly payments with no interest, but the costs were staggering. My out-of-pocket expense for one test alone was over $3,000. The side gig that I started for fun quickly became a life-saver. It got me out of my house for tastings, out of my head by giving me something other than cancer and treatments to think about, and out of debt with the commissions I made. I can’t imagine what I would have done without the extra income I had from Traveling Vineyard.”

From Wine Guide, Annette Gaulden

“I got the news on June 13 of this year that I had breast cancer. It knocked the wind out of me. On August 16 I had a lumpectomy to remove 2 lumps and had 2 lymph nodes removed. I start radiation on Sep 27. The support, prayers, messages and calls I have received from my Traveling Vineyard family have helped me get through this hard time.”

From Wine Guide, Tina Seffernick

“I’m Tina Seffernick wine guide for over 1 year now been cancer free for 10 years. I opened my business in October and by Thanksgiving I found out I had stage 3 breast cancer. I did chemo for 6 months surgery radiation while I was building my business.”

To all Wine Guides in our Community—

We are so incredibly touched and fortunate to have such an amazing group of like-minded, wine-loving individuals as part of our team. To anyone in our wine family that has been personally affected by Breast Cancer, we fundraise with Rayado and donate to Living Beyond Breast Cancer in honor of you. Thank you to those named above for sharing your stories with us, it’s an honor to raise your voice and to witness your strength.

For free resources or to learn more about Breast Cancer, please visit Living Beyond Breast Cancer,

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