Published: Monday, October 20, 2014 at 8:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 20, 2014 at 8:21 p.m.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH
Lisa Bukovinsky knows how important it is for someone battling breast cancer to have a temporary escape from the worries of the disease.
Bukovinsky, who lives in Waterville, Ohio, was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2011. Later that year, her family bought a vacation home on South Atlantic Avenue in New Smyrna Beach.
Now a breast cancer survivor, Bukovinsky is donating the three-bedroom, three-bathroom condominium to Little Pink Houses of Hope, a charitable organization that provides free, week-long vacations to breast cancer patients and their families.
“It would be nice to have your mind off that horrible word ‘cancer’ for a week, and just enjoy the ocean and the scenery and just to be away from the environment that you are so used to dealing with the cancer in,” said Bukovinsky, 49, whose sister was diagnosed with breast cancer six months after she was. “Because you know when you go to bed at night that is what’s on your mind.”
After being contacted by Little Pink Houses of Hope, Ocean Properties and Management Inc. in New Smyrna Beach sent an email to all of its property owners to see who was willing to donate their homes for the cause. The response was “overwhelming,” said Margy Roe, an executive assistant with Ocean Properties.
“We had way more of a response than we thought we were going to,” she said. “I mean it was really nice to see how many people were willing to donate.”
Mary Derryberry and her family donated both of their two-bedroom, two-bath condominiums at Ocean Walk on South Atlantic Avenue. Like Bukovinsky, Derryberry, 60, who lives in Brooksville, is also a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in Sept. 2011.
“I had breast cancer and I went through (chemotherapy) and radiation, and I know how important it is to have that family time,” Derryberry said. “I’ve got two sons and three grandkids and a husband and it’s very important with me.”
Each of the families who are receiving the free vacations will be staying in the homes from Nov. 15-22, Roe said.
“It’s just an important thing and I think it’s great that people can donate and give these families time away, put all the cares of the world behind them and just go and enjoy a week away from it all,” said Derryberry, who has been cancer-free since 2012, and whose mother is also a breast cancer survivor.
Ocean Properties is also making a cash donation to Little Pink Houses of Hope. Cancer hits close to home for the Roe family, which operates the company. Toni Roe, general manager of the rental department for Ocean Properties, said her husband’s sisters died from cancer.
Mark Sasala and his wife, Rosemary, have family members and friends who have had breast cancer. They donated their four-bedroom home with a pool to the Little Pink Houses of Hope effort only a few days after Mark’s mother died from a cause other than breast cancer.
“And it really brought home the whole piece of the importance of family and family time, and it just felt like it was some way I could memorialize that feeling and kind of pay it forward,” he said.
To contact Little Pink Houses of Hope, call 336-213-4733 or checkwww.littlepink.org/contact/