What if I told you that the majority of people diagnosed with the most common form of lung cancer are non-smoking women?  

What if I told you that even if you followed every single preventative measure noted in you still may be at a high risk for cancer?

What if I told you that even if you were exposed to every known carcinogen we are supposed to avoid, you may still never develop cancer?  

What if I told you that there are no safe and effective ways to detect most cancer in their early stages (unless you consider random MRIs, safe, or feeling for a tumor that has already developed, effective)?  

This is what the CANswer project is all about.

Finding ANSWERS to what causes cancer, how to prevent cancer, and how to detect cancer early. 

Who's with us?

our story

On August 3, 2011 my family got some pretty shocking news. My mother, my vibrant, active, NON SMOKING, healthy mother got diagnosed with Stage IV LUNG CANCER. Say what? Lung cancer!? On June 6, 2013, my mother passed away from this disease, and now she resides in heaven.

WTH? She’s never smoked! She’s never been exposed to radon! She puts on her sunscreen and eats her veggies!

So I started asking anyone who would listen, "why?". And the shocking response I got time and time again was, “The reason why your mother got lung cancer is just bad luck.” 

Huh? You call that a response?

So I started doing research, research and more research and I kept coming to dead ends. Not only is there no cause for my mother’s cancer, there is no known cause for the majority of cancers!

But this makes no sense. How can there be so much money going into cancer research and there are still no answers on what causes this awful disease?

And then I realized it. Money is going into finding a cure (which I also fully support), but there is not enough money going into finding the cause. There aren’t even available safe screening methods to detect most cancers in their early stages! 

Well ladies and gents, isn’t it more prudent to stop something before it becomes a big ol’ mess? And how could you find a cure for something when you don’t know what's causing it?

Yeah we thought so too.

Not another walk please…

No Problem!

After my mother was diagnosed, I have been invited to more walks and 5Ks that I care to remember. Again, while WE FULLY SUPPORT ALL CANCER CHARITIES (I will continue to go on walks and 5Ks if it means we are a step closer to a cure), our approach to FUNraisers are a bit different.

The CANswer project is dedicated to hosting FUN, out of the box, entertaining events that are meant to raise both money and spirits.

We want to host events people would want to go to anyway! Events that are FUN and full of LIFE! Because, after all, our foundation is about preserving it!

Shall we?


The focus of our organization is to raise money to fund current research that is dedicated to:

- finding causes of various cancers
- general prevention and prophylactic measures of cancer
– early detection of the disease using safe techniques

Monies generated will be donated to top institutions, hospitals, universities and research centers focused on the advancement of cancer research whose goals are aligned with the CANswer project.

How Do We Plan On Raising Money?

By having FUN! The CANswer project will host FUNraisers that will raise both money and
spirits through creative, innovative, out of the box, and entertaining events.
….and of course from our very generous donors. Every penny counts.

so what's with the tree?

The tree symbolizes so much for us!  It is a representation of vitality, life, roots, foundation, protection, and most importantly, KNOWLEDGE.  Not to mention, we think it looks pretty sweet on our t-shirts!


boycott the bad luck club

Why Do We Get Cancer?

Wouldn’t you know the actual response from numerous doctors and websites is “bad luck”? And for many, there is no way to detect this stroke of misfortune until it’s too late. Bad Luck = excuses for not knowing the answers. Let’s Boycott the Bad Luck Club and donate to those doctors and institutions in search of those answers.

boycott - FINALLLEEE high

if you don’t agree with the following answers

Q: Katy is a healthy, young girl. She doesn’t smoke (ew that crap is nasty and smelly). She puts sunscreen on religiously (duh, she wants to look 30 when she’s 50). She eats a clean, nutritious diet and works out 4 times a week (she likes her clothing size to stay in the single digits). Cancer does not run in her family. Can this girl be at risk for developing cancer in her lifetime?


Q:Larry is an older male. He has been smoking for as long as he can remember (what? he likes it!). He is overweight and doesn’t work out (he enjoys life and eats what he wants!) Some of his family members have been afflicted with cancer. Is there a possibility this man will never develop cancer in his lifetime?

Q:Susie is very concerned about developing cancer, in particular brain, lung and stomach. Are there any safe and standard early detection screening methods?

Say what?!

board of trustees

We are a bunch of friends and family who have been personally or otherwise affected by this terrible, crappy, awful, unfair disease. No one asks for cancer. And some of us can’t do much to prevent it from happening (those of us who unfortunately become members of the bad luck club).

We are taking action.

President Nixon declared War on Cancer in 1971. The war continues. I guess cancer never met a bunch of tenacious women and men like us…it better watch out. The end starts here.

the Impetus

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Former Vice Chairwoman

June 13, 1956 – June 6, 2013


Carmela LaTorre Colosimo was the Assistant Principal of Orange Avenue Middle School in Cranford, NJ and was a resident of Kenilworth, NJ almost all her life. First as an educator, and then as an administrator, Carmela has been inspiring students for over three decades beginning as a teacher in St. Theresa’s School, and finally finding her home as administrator with the OAS family.

Carmela was diagnosed with lung cancer, having never been a smoker. “Time to strip that stigma away. Lung cancer, in fact any cancer, could affect anyone. I am living proof. Cancer is only a portion of my life…it is not my whole life. I have made a conscious decision that cancer will not control my life.  I am doing great, I am seeing the best team of doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering, still keep my normal work schedule, love spending time with my family and am enjoying every second of being a new grandmother.  When I was first diagnosed, the doctor told me ‘it’s just your luck’.  I was shocked.  I associate luck to winning the lottery, not being diagnosed with cancer.  Following that first response, I’ve actually heard that the reason I got cancer from multiple doctors was “it’s just bad luck”, my daughter Stefania bearing witness to this.  I am happy to be part of the CANswer project for very obvious reasons.  I have a lot of questions left unanswered, and I hope that through our funding, we will be able to find those answers.”

the Actionista


Founder, Chairwoman and Treasurer


Hello. Have we met? I’m the pertinacious hot-blooded Italian who doesn’t take responses like “it’s just bad luck” very well. So what do I do if I don’t find answers acceptable? I start searching for ones that do. Here are some things I’d like to know. Why in the hell do we get cancer? Is it from malnutrition, a fungal infection, a virus, a genetic mutation? How do I know how to prevent cancer (even if I follow all preventative measures like not smoking, putting on sunscreen, maintaining a healthy weight and eating nutritious foods)? If people don’t know how my mom got cancer, then how do they know it won’t keep creeping back if the cause is unknown? What will I be able to teach to my niece about boycotting the bad luck club? Ahhhhh my head is spinning! Ok time to put our hard earned dollars to action. Let’s control who we donate our money to. Let’s donate to those individuals working to find these answers that keep me awake at night.

Stefania Colosimo is a CPA and a resident of Hoboken, NJ. As Assistant Controller of an energy investment company coupled with her prior work experience as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche, she is ready to move into her role as Chairwoman and Treasurer of the foundation. Stefania started the CANswer project after three family members were diagnosed with cancer within one year, two of which are Stage IV. All three cancer diagnoses have been deemed non-hereditary and the cause of two cancers are still unknown.

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 “I am ready to start taking action and making people aware. Maybe this is rudimentary thinking, but how far can we come to finding a cure if we don’t even know the cause? This foundation is geared towards EVERYONE. A lot of people donate to cancer societies because they know someone afflicted. Know that when you donate to our foundation, the money is going towards finding answers for you! Cancer affects 1 out of every 3 people (1.4 million new cases in the US every year), so thinking you will never be affected is bit obtuse. I was a victim of this thinking only a year ago until my whole world was flipped upside-down. Instead of being frustrated with the lack of answers to all the questions I have, I am ready to take action. We here at the CANswer project are on a mission to find ANSWERS that PREVENT cancers!”

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