Team of the Week


Honoring a mother who lost her battle to breast cancer after a 15-year fight

Team TAFD is named after Teresa Annette Ferrono DeMartis. Her daughter, Laura DeMartis, Special Events & Volunteer Coordinator at Komen Greater NYC, is team founder. The 11-member team participated in its first Race in 2011, raising $851. This year, its goal is $10.000 of which $1,660 has already been raised.

“Breast cancer has affected my life tremendously,” explained DeMartis. “I don’t remember my mom without cancer.” Terrie, as she was known to family and friends, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 38. She succumbed to the disease three years ago. During her 15 year battle, her cancer went from Stage 1, metastasized to her hip (resulting in a hip replacement), moved to her lung (requiring lung surgery), to her liver, bones, and back (another surgery) and, finally, to her brain. She died in a hospice in Arizona surrounded by 30 family members and friends.


Teresa Annette Ferrono DeMartis

Terrie returned to college for a social work degree but had to quit a few credits from graduating when the cancer came back. She also was passionate about yoga and studied tirelessly, ultimately becoming a certified instructor. “This amazing woman — my mother — had to learn to live each day with a chronic disease while raising two children,” exclaimed her proud daughter. “She had to learn to walk again after her hip replacement, breathe again after lung surgery, and survive the relentless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.”

Terrie touched many lives. “My mom was an amazing friend, daughter, sister, wife and more. She had two pseudo-daughters whom she loved like they were her own and was a loving grandmother of three before she died.”

So when you ask DeMartis about why she has a team the answer is simple. “I want nothing more than for this world to be void of this disease,” she replied. “There is nothing that I am more passionate about.” Every day, she works for a world without breast cancer not only for her mom, but also for others who have had the disease, as well as the children, families and friends who are experiencing or have experienced someone they love having or dying of breast cancer.

The team is made up of family and friends — people who knew and loved Terrie. DeMartis blasts information about the team all over Facebook and Twitter and sends out emails all the time. She also posts and tweets whatever she can about breast cancer awareness. In addition, she has just begun acknowledging every person who has donated or joined Team TAFD by tagging them on Facebook.

Her most successful fundraising techniques are Facebook posts and email. In addition, DeMartis and Komen staffer Cynthia Ramirez will be hosting a fundraiser in August at an Equinox gym. The event will be a group fitness class, and the hosts are asking friends and family to donate $20 - $25, which will go to the team.

DeMartis doesn’t have a specific favorite Race memory. “I just always try to savor the moments when my closest friends and family are together in one place, honoring and remembering my mom. There’s no greater feeling than that!

“I miss my mom every single day,” she continued. Her favorite Beatles song was Hey Jude, and she used its lyrics to teach me to …take a sad song and make it better. That’s what I try to do every day.”