For Supporting Stephanie Filipowski
The 2010 Healing Partner award was presented to Catherine O'Neill, a loyal and committed friend who continues to play a pivotal role for Stephanie Filipowski as she navigates through her breast cancer treatment.
One of 12 siblings, Cathy was raised in Salinas, California. After graduating from college, she began a career on Wall Street as a buy-side trader. Thirty one years later, Cathy is now Managing Director at Eastbourne Capital Management in charge of trading. Cathy credits the influence of her parents, a surgeon and a nurse educator, with instilling in her the sense of responsibility to others. Cathy approaches life from a scientific point of view learned from her father and brothers, who are scientists, using data to solve problems. This approach, combined with Cathy's business acumen, helped to evaluate Stephanie's situation and create an action plan to support her friend's breast cancer treatment process.
Cathy and Stephanie met and became friends ten years ago while attending a program at Duke University. In the beginning their friendship was bicoastal. They traveled to spend time together and maintained close telephone contact. After receiving the phone call from Stephanie about her breast cancer diagnosis, Cathy immediately flew to Boston to be with Stephanie and her husband, Mark. Cathy became her advocate by helping her research the treatment options and by providing companionship, laughter and love. Cathy has been with Stephanie every step of the way. In the three years since the diagnosis, Stephanie and Mark have relocated to the Bay Area.
Cathy does not consider herself a healing partner, but rather a "nagging friend" who asks questions and helps develop strategies to deal with the challenges of breast cancer. Stephanie believes that no one could have provided her with more hope, solace and comfort than Cathy. She is her "miracle."