Chemo Companions comes from the heart of its founder, Alyssa Dinowitz, and was born from her own family’s experiences with cancer.
Our Guiding Forces are Love, Compassion, Understanding and Hope
Alyssa’s mother, Marriann Gofonia, passed away in September of 2009 after beating breast cancer four times. During her many rounds of chemotherapy treatments, the Gofonia girls (there are five, each as spunky and spirited as their mother) would all but turn the chemo lounge into a party hall with laughter, jokes, hugs and love – and something interesting would happen there. Smiles would suddenly fill this typically gloomy room with warmth, joy and light. Realizing that not everyone has this kind of resource, Alyssa (also the founder of Chewylou Designs, a custom tee-shirt company and Athletes Yoga, a company specializing in injury prevention and rehabilitation for athletes) created Chemo Companions.
Chemo Companions provides companionship through a network of trained volunteers who bring comfort, conversation, laughter and nourishing essentials to the chemo lounge. Our mission is to make a positive impact on the lives of those undergoing cancer treatments by offering friendship and emotional support. The guiding forces behind Chemo Companions are love, compassion, understanding and hope.
Our “mascot”, the hummingbird represents all that we stand for and has become the symbol for our inspiration, Mama Marriann. Like a sign from God, hummingbirds became an instant and comfortingly common presence in Alyssa’s life within minutes of her mother’s passing. We’re convinced it is no coincidence that the Hummingbird is considered to be the messenger of Hope and Jubilation. It is also believed that the Hummingbird is the creature that opens the heart.
Energy, peace, playfulness, affection, loyalty, vitality, joy, renewal, sincerity and persistence… all of which we need in generous quantities to stand up against cancer. Chemo Companions will be there for you and your loved ones providing all of these things and more – because kindness wins.