Team of the Week

Carol’s Crew

Honoring the courage of Carol Pinola

Last year, the team Carol’s Crew Crew was founded in memory of Carol Pinola, who passed away in October 2010 after battling breast cancer for 11 years. Her daughter Kelly was founder/captain of the team. In its first year, Carol’s Crew had 30 members and raised over $8,000. In 2012, it had 27 members and has raised $2,205, to-date. Kelly’s cousin Michelle Isoldi joined her this year as co-captain.

If you asked anyone who knew Carol Pinola for a word that best described her, you would get one answer — courage. She spend 30 years as an oncology nurse, 11 of them were as a stage four metastatic breast cancer patient. Carol was much more than her cancer. “She was a loving mother, wife and sister and hard-working radiation oncology nurse at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center,” said her daughter. “She loved life and lived every day with a positive attitude. She had a quick wit, bringing laughter to all she knew.”

Carol's Crew

Carol's Crew co-captains Kelly
Pinola and Michelle Isoldi.

The team is made up of Carol’s friends and family including her husband, son and daughter. “As a group, we all are affected by the loss of my mother,” said Kelly Pinola. Several members of the team have been affected by the disease in other ways, as well. “Breast cancer affects so many women,” she continued,” that it’s hard to find someone who does not have a family member, friend or co-worker who has fought or is currently battling the disease.”

Everyone on Carol’s Crew does his or her part to expand the team. They recruit via email and Facebook and just simply talk about the Race to everyone they know. Pinola finds that personal emails are the best method of fundraising. She groups people based on how she knows them, sending a more personal request — a letter from a friend to a friend asking her or him to help out a great cause.

This year, Kelly, her dad and brother were interviewed by 1010 WINS radio news prior to the Race.

Last year’s first Race experience is the source of the team’s favorite memory, so far. “I think we were all just super excited to be there,” said Pinola. “When we heard our name announced at the start of the Race, we knew we were active members in the fight.

“As team founder and Carol’s daughter, it was an empowering moment. The 2011 Race was close to the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death. Being there and experiencing the energy made me feel that I can continue her fight and make a difference.”