Meet the Committee: New York City Brain Tumor Walk

Sunday, June 9, 2019, Randall’s Island, New York City, New York

Meet our Walk Volunteer Planning Committee

Daniella LoCicero

Daniella has been participating in the NYC Brain Tumor Walk since 2015 when her mom, Betty, was diagnosed with glioblastoma. Betty was born and raised in Sicily and moved to America as a child. She was married with three daughters; Daniella being the youngest. Betty worked at a local nursing home until the day of her diagnosis and Daniella describes her as a classy, spunky woman, loved by everyone. She had an infectious smile but was also very blunt and everyone enjoyed her company and honesty. She loved spending time with her children and family, especially her three grandchildren. Sadly, Betty lost her battle to GBM in 2016. Daniella is team captain for Team Betty Boop and also our resident emcee of the NYC Walk, but her expertise is procuring in-kind donations to offset costs to ensure that more money directly funds the NBTS mission. From convincing a dj to donate his services, to arranging for free water and bagels, she helps create a better experience for our walk participants. Daniella is currently seeking volunteers to join her on the in-kind sub-committee to acquire free gifts for our survivors, entertainment for our youth, gift cards along with snacks and goodies for all walkers to enjoy.

Amy Brandwene
Volunteer Sub-Committee
At age 55, my mother Barbara Kasten Gold was diagnosed with a meningioma and had the first of two major surgeries. As a devoted mother, wife, and friend she was determined to live a full life despite what the future would hold for us all.  She was a college professor and was so dedicated to her students, though becoming sight-impaired, continued to teach Reading and English, listen to audio books and participate in her book clubs. She was the matriarch of our family and her death in 2011 was felt deeply. She will never be replaced. I feel strongly about supporting the National Brain Tumor Society, because my mother was also an advocate for others, not just her immediate family. I am a Geriatric social worker so I understand professionally as well as personally what a difficult time a family endures with a devastating diagnosis and illness. I am looking forward to making a difference in the lives of others through this organization.
Bonnie Riegler
Remembrance Sub-Committee

My uncle, Kenneth Gradinger, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme in January 2005. He was 60 years old when diagnosed. He made it through two major surgeries which included complications of pressure on the brain and a three month coma. He was only able to walk for a short while afterward, needed a device in his trachea to help him “speak” and spent the rest of his days confined to a wheelchair or his bed. He passed away 17 months later leaving our family devastated. The twist in my story is finding out that my boyfriend at the time, now husband, lost his mom to a brain tumor 8 years earlier. Since my uncle’s death in 2006, I have been walking in our local brain tumor walk as team captain for Cruising for Ken & Hilda, but this year I decided to take it a step further by becoming a committee member, working on the Remembrance Sub-Committee in honor of all those we have lost to brain tumors. My hope is that by continuing to fight this battle in my uncle and mother-in-law’s memory, other families won’t have to endure the pain our families went through.
Dr. Sabine Schwab
Social Media Specialist for the NYC Brain Tumor Walk

I’m a brain tumor survivor of almost five years, speaker, advocate and advisor for the cause. As a patient, you often feel alone and disconnected, especially at the beginning of your journey. Social Media helped me to get support, answers and build connections with the brain tumor community around the world.

I like to share my passion and skills with this important cause, and engage others to walk, donate and fundraise for much needed brain tumor research. Follow me on Twitter @sabine_nj or #sabine365 to get the latest updates.