One Tough Cookie Founder Marie Camacho
After a diagnosis of Stage 2 invasive breast cancer in the Fall of 2015, Marie Camacho found herself alone despite having her husband and two kids who were 2 years old at the time. “ I remember the nurse calling me to tell me the news. Everything went silent after the words “you have breast cancer”. My mind went immediately to my babies and their care. Who is going to help us? What were we going to do? Family was not nearby and we had very little friends here in Stamford, CT.” As worry increased, unbeknownst to her, an army of support was quick to show up to her doorstep. Meal trains and schedules for babysitting were quickly formed by friends and family from as close to Long Island and The Bronx, to as far as Rochester NY, Puerto Rico, and Florida. Everyone with one goal in mind, to help the family dealing with such a difficult circumstance. “Every week we had someone in our home helping, making us laugh, playing music and showing us and the babies affection. I had never seen anything like it. It was truly special and something that will never be forgotten.” And never forgotten it has been. In order to pay forward all the support that she and her family received during her cancer journey, Marie founded the 501c3 nonprofit organization One Tough Cookie.
Since their launch in November 2019, they have shown their support to patients receiving treatment, caregivers, medical staff, and survivors through care packages, music, comedic relief, and community events. “We know our offerings can’t take away cancer but it is our hope that it does provide some type of comfort and support during such a traumatic time.” And indeed it has. However, with the pandemic going on, their way of supporting others has had to change. The Stamford based organization has had to become more creative in keeping up with the momentum of encouraging and supporting those dealing with not only cancer but now also the worry of Covid-19. "We are now having our events virtually and with social distance in mind. Cancer doesn't stop because of this virus, so neither must we. We will do whatever is needed to help our Tough Cookies. They will not crumble! Not if we have anything to do with it."