About bosom Buddies
Bosom Buddies of Arizona was founded in 1982 by five women in the advertising and communications industry in Phoenix. Our founder, Dee Courtwright-Smoot, promised if she lived through her battle with breast cancer she would do “something” to help other women and men with the same diagnosis. At the time there was very little information available on breast cancer and no one spoke openly about it.
The original members of Bosom Buddies agreed that one way to help was to provide a telephone information line. Using their own home phones and a passion to help others, a new volunteer organization for women and men with breast cancer was born. The ladies took the calls themselves until a newspaper article appeared about Bosom Buddies and the number of calls increased. At that time, Bosom Buddies of Arizona partnered with an answering service that forwarded calls to volunteers who were trained breast cancer survivors.
The next project was to provide meeting places where people dealing with a new breast cancer diagnosis could speak to those who walked that path before them. Soon monthly meetings began and today there are several support groups serving the Valley of the Sun. The sessions include both educational programs with breast cancer professionals and discussion among the group members.
Bosom Buddies of Arizona’s leadership recognized the importance of public advocacy to address challenging issues such as research funding levels and access to care. Our organization became a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, a coalition of hundreds of breast cancer organizations who lobby Congress and other decision makers for public policies that impact breast cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Bosom Buddies of Arizona is now a board member of NBCC. Our volunteers participate in advocacy efforts on the state and national level.
The mission of Bosom Buddies of Arizona is to increase awareness of breast cancer by prevention, early detection and to provide support to women and men diagnosed with breast cancer, and their families. We will do this through the sharing of common experiences and knowledge through personal contacts, the hotline, support groups, social media, and educational materials.
Diane Swanson, President
Diane is a certified Pension Consultant and a breast cancer survivor of more than 5 years. She lives with her 3 rescue dogs in Mesa and is willing to do everything and anything necessary to help Bosom Buddies. She is excited to serve as President of the Board.
Barrow, Vice President
Trudie Camponovo-Barrow is a 20-year survivor of breast cancer. Sadly her daughter passed away from this disease at age 29. Trudie is a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Scottsdale Unified School District. She received her BA from the University of Buffalo and her MA from The George Washington University. She is serving as Vice President of our organization.
Lynn Cook, Treasurer
Lynn is a CPA with over 35 years of experiences. She has her own practice, consisiting of primarily medical office clients, and lives in Tempe with her horses, her cat and dog, and has three adult children and three grandchildren.
Debbie Campanovo, Secretary
Debbie and her husband are happy to be back in Arizona after spending many years on the east coast. They met at ASU, served in the US Navy together and raised two sons in central Pennsylvania. Debbie was a Medical Service Corps officer stationed at Naval Hospital Bethesda; she obtained a JD from the George Washington University Law School. She volunteered in several capacities with the Dauphin County Medical Society Alliance and the Pinnacle Health Auxiliary of UPMC Pinnacle in PA. Debbie is honored to support Bosom Buddies as a tribute to her sister-in-law Trudie, who is a breast cancer survivor, and in memory of her mother and niece Jessica, who lost their battles.
JeanAnn Schwark, Board Member
JeanAnn Schwark is a Nurse Practitioner in Gynecology and Primary Care for women. She is the owner of
Serenity Women’s Care in Scottsdale, Arizona. JeanAnn earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing from
Arizona State University, and a Post-Graduate Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. With over 38
years of experience, JeanAnn is committed to ensuring that women live the healthiest lives possible. Her
Community Health work in Arizona has been funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation,
to increase rates of breast cancer screening among underserved Latina populations. A current focus of
her work is cancer prevention, through increasing the awareness and utilization of genetic screening in
families at risk for inherited cancer syndromes.
In her spare time, JeanAnn loves travel, reading, and spending time with her five adult children and
Melanie Eich, Hotline Co-Coordinator
Kathy Tincombe, Hotline Coordinator
Kathy grew up in Phoenix with her two sisters and a brother. Her relationship with her siblings and their families has been and continues to be a blessing in her life. Kathy is married, and she and her husband are grateful to be actively involved in the lives of her daughter and granddaughter. She was an educator of young children in public schools in the Phoenix area for 30 years, and currently keeps alive her passion for teaching by volunteering as a tutor in a valley public school and volunteering one morning a week in the schoolroom at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Kathy is a 25-year survivor of breast cancer and has been a part of Bosom Buddies of Arizona for 24 years. Upon discovering that she is positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation in 2004, she opted for a prophylactic double mastectomy. In the past, Kathy has been active as a support group facilitator and has opened her home to support group meetings. She is currently co-chairing the Hotline with Melanie Eich.
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Bosom Buddies of Arizona
Bosom Buddies, Inc. is a
501(c)3 non-profit organization.