Diagnosed with cancer just one year ago, 26-year-old Audrey Rossi looked like many of the other guests at the cocktail and dinner reception on a lovely summer’s night following the Cancer Support Community of Delaware’s (CSCDE) 23rd annual Dickie DiSabatino Golf Classic: healthy, full of energy and life.
Rossi addressed about 200 guests on Monday evening at the Bidermann Golf Club, following a spectacular day of golf and tennis (new this year) to raise money for CSCDE, which serves people with cancer and their loved ones, free of charge. Rossi expressed just how grateful she and other cancer patients are for the dedication of CSCDE supporters who make a difference in her life and so many others touched by cancer.
Rossi’s youth and incredibly positive spirit belie the pain and suffering she has endured in her battle to beat an aggressive form of colorectal cancer. TSD profiled Audrey and her journey toward renewed health in March.
It has been one year since Audrey Rossi, fiancé Andy Phillips, and her parents and siblings have come to rely on CSCDE for support, and in that time, Rossi has become a beloved figure in the CSCDE community. Her infectious smile and outgoing nature have drawn in staff members, volunteers and other families coping with cancer.
She told the crowd, “When I meet someone diagnosed with cancer, I’m immediately in love with that person. I immediately want to be their best friend. And it’s not just because I’ve known you for the past five years or that we know each other at all. But because we have a shared experience that so few people understand. And we can bond over that. I’m just so grateful – I can’t imagine going through the past year without the support of Cancer Support Community.”
When CSCDE Executive Director Nicki Pickles met Audrey last fall, they both knew the relationship was meant to be and have formed a close friendship over the past year. She remarked, “Everyone at CSCDE is in awe of Audrey’s determination and zest for life!”
The golf outing is one of the signature fundraising events for CSCDE and Pettinaro was the major sponsor this year. Between the golf, tennis, raffles and live auction, the event raised $70,000 for the nonprofit.