Plum residents focus on funding children's cancer research
By Karen Zapf
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Debbie DePew and Tiffany Casarcia were friends through their husbands who are teachers at Oblock Junior High School.
The two developed a strong bond after Casarcia's friend, Stacey Moskal Parsons, 22, of Plum died in 2005 after battling cancer for about four years, and DePew's daughter, Ella, now 6, in 2008 was diagnosed with a cancer of the muscle tissue.
Ella DePew has been in remission for five years, her mother said.
Debbie DePew, 37, of Plum has, over the past five years, made it her mission to raise money for research on cures for pediatric cancers.
DePew and Casarcia, 38, also of Plum, are putting the finishing touches on the Second Annual UnWINEd fundraiser from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the Narcisi Winery on Gibsonia Road in West Deer.
The majority of the proceeds benefit the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
The event includes food, wine tasting, auction items and entertainment.
Eighty percent of the $100 or $130 ticket price goes to the foundation for cancer research.
DePew and Casarcia, both members of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Auxiliary of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, worked to raise $55,000 last year.
This year's goal is $100,000, DePew said.
“The response has been amazing,” DePew said.
Those interested also can purchase $25 raffle tickets.
The winner gets a trip to Sonoma Valley in California or New York City.
DePew has been involved in other fundraising events.
She last year was the chairwoman of the Second Annual CureSearch Walk at Boyce Park.
In 2011, DePew joined 45 other mothers who shaved their heads in Washington D.C. to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation — a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding research for cures for childhood cancers as well as giving survivors long and healthy lives, according to the group's website.
DePew said recently she decided to focus her efforts on fundraising for cancer research at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
“What drives me is when I walk into a business and see cans for donations to St. Jude's (Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee),” DePew said. “We have Children's that is doing the same thing. We don't turn any children away. We have a free-care program.”
“(Cancer patients) don't have to go anywhere else,” Casarcia said. “We have one of the top hospitals in the world in our backyard.”
The women plan to continue their work.
“Debbie and I have big dreams and big passions,” Casarcia said.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Some Plum roads not bearing weight of winter storms
- Plum elementary programs get help from state grant
- Plum School Board committee recommends pushing back start of classes
- New McDonald’s coming on Route 286 in Plum
- Reader: Plum school board ignoring elephant in the room