Former Miss Pink Titleholders
Miss Pink 2018
Helene has been volunteering for the American Cancer Society for 23 years, in memory of her mum, whom she lost to breast cancer at age 55, when Helene was just 22. When her mother wasn’t happy with a situation, she changed it, and Helene has made it her mission to raise money for cancer research, education, patient support, and advocacy in her mum’s memory. When her mum was diagnosed as being terminally ill, it was not discussed with outsiders and there was hardly any discussion even within the family. When Helene was diagnosed with stage I invasive and non invasive DCIS breast cancer in June 2014, she made a conscious decision to share her journey through two lumpectomies, a double mastectomy, and the trials and tribulations of reconstructive procedures and surgeries to demystify the process for her friends and family, and to share her progress and struggles.
Helene is so grateful for the love and support of her family and friends in this country, from doing her laundry, delivering food, and providing rides to and from surgeries (especially her friend Alee who brought her home after the double mastectomy with a brand new baby in the car!). Cancer showed up as a dark spot on her ultrasound, but with the light and strength of love and friendship surrounding her, Helene made it through her cancer journey and continues to actively volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Bicycles Battling Cancer Ride and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Helene knows her mother would be proud.
Miss Pink 2017
Shanna’s motto is, “cancer is what I have, not who I am.” Shanna embraced this motto when she was diagnosed at the age of 27 with stage 2 breast cancer, a mere one year after the birth of her daughter Mackenzie. After a partial mastectomy, reconstruction, and six months of chemotherapy, she thought she would hear the words, "You are cancer free.” However, those words have never been said to her. Eleven years later, she continues to fight BRCA1 positive invasive metastatic breast cancer. Enduring over 150 rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and a deteriorating kidney, Shanna fights everyday and is using her journey to inspire others.
Shanna is an award winning photographer and write. In November 2016 she launched her second book, Fabulously Fighting, in which she chronicles her family’s eleven year fight against breast cancer. Married to her amazing husband, David, for over sixteen years, they decided to share with the world how a family gets through everyday with love, laughter, and honesty.
"A tribe of fabulous fighters" is how Shanna refers to the Miss Pink Organization. Shanna is honored and humbled to be sharing the stage with other warriors who have fought and continue to fight everyday, showing that anything is possible.
Miss Pink 2016
Alexandra was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States at the age of 14. She spent her teenage years living with her mother in California. Alexandra has always been the type of person that enjoys helping others without expecting anything in return. This is one of the reasons why, in 2003, she joined the United States Air Force. During her 5 years of service, Alexandra deployed to the middle-east two times as a Security Forces Member. Alexandra conducted many missions but one of the most memorable for her was conducting detainee operations while at Camp Bucca, Iraq, where she assisted in securing some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. Alexandra had made her family and country very proud with all she had accomplished while in the military and will never forget the everlasting friendships she had made.
Although her enlistment was coming to an end a new chapter in her life was beginning. In 2007, she met her now husband Tim while they were both stationed at Tinker AFB, OK. Life began to move a lot faster from that point forward. They moved to New Hampshire to start their life and family together. Alexandra is now the very proud mommy of two extraordinary boys, Collin who is 7 and Caleb who is now 2. They are her biggest fans and the reason for everything she does. Her greatest accomplishments in life have been her two boys and being married to such an amazing man. Being diagnosed with breast cancer was devastating news, as it is for anyone that goes through it. Since her diagnosis in September 2015 she has had a bilateral mastectomy and is still undergoing chemotherapy treatments as well as breast reconstruction.
It has been a long and continuous road to recovery that seems never ending at times. Although at times she has been in extreme pain and has become frustrated, angry, and discouraged, she has learned to focus on taking everything one day at a time. Alexandra has found strength through her family, friends, and neighbors. She has been overwhelmed by the amount of support and generosity of so many.
Miss Pink 2015
Michele Dube is 54 years old and lives in Atkinson, NH. She has two children, Brittany and Eric.
Michele holds a degree in Interior Design and an Associates Degree in Business. She is the former owner and operator of Dube's Construction in Atkinson, as well as a travel consultant. She holds a New Hampshire Real Estate License and is a Public Notary in New Hampshire.
Michele is actively involved in her community and believes in giving back to others whenever possible. She has been involved in the Children's Miracle Network, the National Autism Association, the Cancer Coalition, numerous food drives, clothing collections, the Bella Ball, Heather's Angels, Miss Pink fundraisers, and has volunteered with other charities. Recently she helped with an ongoing dredging project of Clam Pass in Naples, Florida. She is a currently a director of the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship program.
She continues her own quest to work with people recently diagnosed with cancer and those making the transition back into the real world after going through cancer treatments.
She believes that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is the present so enjoy the gift!
Miss Pink 2014
Lori Cain is a two-year breast cancer survivor, a mother of two, and a friend to many. Lori has a passion for helping others more than letting others help her. When she was diagnosed in July of 2011, both she and her husband, John, set out to tackle their upcoming battle with nothing but positive thoughts and outlooks. They both explained what was going to happen to their children, Tye and Rachel, and they joined in the battle as well. Ultrasounds, biopsies, MRI’s, Cat Scans, Nuclear Medicine Testing, and Mammograms brought her to a left mastectomy with chemotherapy and radiation to follow.
After speaking with Lori about her experience battling breast cancer, the only thing that she truly remembers are the friendships she made during that time. “Getting this diagnosis and going through what I went through was probably one the best things that has ever happened to me. It brought amazing people into my life and made me realize that it was in my path for a reason." She has embraced that outlook and used it to benefit women at all stages of their breast cancer journey.
Lori has participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer since May 2011. In 2012, her husband joined her team, Blisters for Sisters, and they raised over $20,000. Lori and John are committed to raising money and awareness for breast cancer research for as long as they are able.
Miss Pink 2013
Kristina Darcangelo is a 30 year old breast cancer survivor and mother of two adorable children, JoJo (3) and Gianna (2). If you ask her what the true meaning of life is, she will give you their names as her answer.
Prior to her diagnosis, Kristina lost her first born. After persevering through that difficult time, she became pregnant again, and was diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer in 2011 during her pregnancy with Gianna. Kristina has been fighting for her life since. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and several surgeries, including a mastectomy. Her courage is inspirational to her fellow Pink Warriors.
Kristina is a hairdresser and a stay at home mom. She looks at her situation as a blessing and says that it has taught her a great deal about life and perseverance. Her family means everything to her and she would not have survived this journey without them or her Miss Pink family. Her message to all is to "live life like it is your last day and to always live, laugh, and love."
Kristina resides in Amesbury, MA with her two children and husband, Joe.
Miss Pink 2012
Kristen, a personal trainer, is a 36 year old breast cancer survivor. She thrives on helping people get fit and healthy. She lives her life in accordance to what she preaches to her clients: eating a healthy diet and getting lots of exercise.
A cancer diagnosis was the furthest thing from the mind of this healthy young adult. In 2010, at the young age of 34, Kristen was diagnosed with a very rare form of breast cancer. Her doctors pulled together a treatment plan and she underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation at Dana Farber.
Because of Kristen’s exceptional health and determination, she continued to exercise daily and stay healthy through all of her treatments. She motivated people in and out of the gym, and had convinced herself that she would somehow impact people’s lives on an even greater scale.
Today, Kristen says that cancer is her blessing and has turned her life around. It has opened doors and brought wonderful people into her life. She is most grateful for being able to participate in amazing opportunities such as The Miss Pink Pageant, and for the opportunity to share her story with others. She hopes to educate, motivate, and inspire.
Miss Pink 2011
In 2012, Donna Wadden, Miss Pink 2011, passed away after a courageous battle with breast cancer. She was not only a ferocious advocate for breast cancer survivors, but an encouragement and inspiration to all who knew her. She was a spokesperson and ambassador for Miss Pink, and spent her year with us traveling all over New England sharing her story of hope.
The Donna Wadden Hope Scholarship was created in her memory and helps provides financial support to Miss Pink winners. By offsetting their costs of travel expenses, the Scholarship allows them to focus on sharing their stories and inspiring others--the part of Miss Pink that Donna loved most.
Miss Pink 2010
Trish Grzela has been styling hair with flair and panache on the North Shore for some 30 years. It was in 1993 that she created Radiance and became one of the first Aveda salons on the North Shore. She is Aveda-trained in aromatherapy, color, cuts, aesthetics and make-up.
Perhaps the most telling “Trish” anecdote is when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Trish had just committed to leasing the space for an Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa in Salem. Not one to back down, even in face of the Big C, she went right ahead with her plans. She opened the salon and licked the cancer to boot!
You’ll never meet another Trish Grzela; they lost the formula after she was made!