MIDDLETOWN TEENS PAY IT FORWARD
Cousins Mike Ruane and Erika Rech are gearing up for a round of heavy fundraising for Breast Friends Forever, the non-profit they created as high school freshmen. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
October, 2006 was the start of a rough stretch for the families of Mike Ruane and Erika Rech of Middletown.
Rech’s mother was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. Six months later, two more women in the family were diagnosed with the disease.
“We were surrounded by chemo and radiation,” Rech said.
In response, the two raised $1,000 in a local Relay For Life fundraiser, but wanted to do more. So they did some research and a lot of legwork and, by 2007, were founders of a non-profit, Breast Friends Forever.
Perhaps even harder to fathom than the odds of three family members being diagnosed with breast cancer in such a short timeframe: Rech and Ruane were both only 15 years old when they founded the non-profit.