Donna Marie Johnson, BA in History is the Community Relations Liaison for Diagnostic Radiology Associates, a private radiology practice located in Waterbury and Middlebury Connecticut. Donna has been with DRA for 18 years helping to spread the word about the importance of breast cancer screening and preventative breast health. She has worked on many fund raisers for organizations such as Waterbury Hospital, Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center, Relay for Life and other health related organizations. Donna believes that women need to be informed and empowered about their own health and has joined the Board of Are You Dense Inc. to help spread the word about breast density to women across the country. She lives in Woodbury with her husband Jim and their two daughters.
Kathleen A. McPadden, MSOB, currently works as SVP, Community Relations Officer for Ion Bank and is the Executive Director of Ion Bank Foundation. Previously, she worked in the field of Human Resources/Organization Development for 32 years in the banking field. She resides in Naugatuck. Along with her affiliation with Are You Dense Inc. Kathy has been an advocate for cancer research since her niece experienced cancer at age three. She has participated in the Relay For Life of Greater Waterbury for many years, is involved various organizations including Jane Doe No More, Wellmore Behavioral Health, the Rotary Club of Naugatuck, YMCA of Naugatuck and the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls, Inc. Kathy’s experience with breast cancer has been through the pain and suffering of loved ones and co-workers who have battled the disease. Kathy first learned of Are You Dense Inc. when she attended the Are You Dense MusicFest in 2010 and she has been passionate about the mission of the organization ever since.
Susan Christian is a wife and mother of two children. She worked in the Aerospace and Defense Industry as a Senior Purchasing Agent for over 15 years. Through Dr. Cappello and her husband Joe, Susan began volunteering for the Are You Dense Inc.’s MusicFest Benefit. She instantly had a passion for the organization because of its Mission for the right of women to know their breast density and its goal of offering support and education needed in the fight against later stage cancer due to dense breast tissue. Susan is proud to be part of an organization that means so much to so many.
Charlene M. German, B.S. in Computer Technology & M.S. in Management Engineering. She currently works as a Software Integrator/Software Quality Engineer for a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer. She has worked in the semiconductor industry for more than 20 years and it was at a previous semiconductor company where a colleague introduced her to Dr. Nancy Cappello. It was then that she learned about the risks of dense breast tissue. Charlene’s mother and grandmother had breast tumors, one benign and one in-situ. As a precaution, her grandmother went through several radiation treatments. Charlene believes the key ingredients to good health are education and awareness.
Mara Little has been working in the insurance industry for the past 26 years, working for Aetna. She is an Underwriting Unit Lead in the Network Access Business unit which was developed back in 2004. She joined the department in 2005. Mara was instrumental in developing business relationships that have flourished and have made the department one of Aetna’s highly profitable units. Mara met Dr. Cappello and her husband Joe through a mutual friend in 2008 and has been volunteering with Are You Dense since the first annual MusicFest Fundraiser. Mara is a Harley Davidson enthusiast and is also involved in the Are You Dense Inc.’s Ribbon Ride motorcycle event.
Susan Wall is a 13 year breast cancer survivor. She has a BS degree in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College and has been employed with Stanley Black & Decker in the capacity of Credit Analyst for various divisions of the company for the past 15 years. Susan has been a faithful volunteer for Are You Dense Inc. for the past 7 years; lending her enthusiasm & dedication to the mission through the fund-raising efforts at the Are You Dense MusicFest. Susan has also volunteered for the Hope Gala committee (where Dr Cappello received an Angel Award for her patient advocacy), Relay for Life, Komen/Indianapolis as well as Making Strides/Hartford, CT.
Joseph J. Cappello married Nancy Marcucci, in 1974 and the story began. Joe is the co-founder of Are You Dense, and Are You Dense Advocacy. Joe was elected to take on the leadership role as Executive Director of Are You Dense, Inc and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc. in January of 2019 after Nancy’s passing from treatment related bone marrow cancer (MDS). His passion is to continue Nancy’s legacy by pursuing the goal that they set in 2004; that not one woman would die from a late stage breast cancer due to dense breast tissue. In 2009, Joe and Nancy championed the first in the nation breast density inform law in the State of Connecticut. To date, there are now 36 States that have breast density legislation. This has given thousands of women in the U.S. and around the world a voice, because early detection matters.
In 2004 Nancy was diagnosed with stage 3c breast cancer. They decided to start Are You Dense, Inc and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc to alert the world about the high risk of breast cancer for those women with dense breast tissue. To help finance these efforts Joe drew on his musical background to put together what became The Are You Dense MusicFest. It produced finances to Are You Dense, Inc for 10 years and gave great pleasure to thousands of people at the same time.
Joe received his entrepreneurial degree by developing three businesses in his career. He became a real estate broker and started his own business which continued for 30 years, selling homes and industrial / commercial property. He was also an independent rep for many years in the electronics industry, selling to industrial manufactures throughout New England. Joe has been an avid drummer since the age of 10. He played with The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra while still in grammar school and in many bands, writing and recording original music. He still plays in a jazz band on occasion. His interest in music ignited an idea to develop a business which manufactures and distributes a unique portable drum set throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He also holds a U.S. Patent on the electronics portion of the drum set.
Joe is a licensed private pilot and also enjoys being on his boat with friends and a good cigar.
Please browse the website further to learn about dense breast tissue, use the available resources, read and share stories and consider making a donation to help expose this BEST-KEPT SECRET about the limitations of mammography alone to detect cancer in women with dense breast tissues.
Are You Dense, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. IRS Tax ID 26-3643216. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.
Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue.
Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.
American College of Radiology describes women with "Dense Breast Tissue" as having a higher than average risk of Breast Cancer.
While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with the densest breasts.
A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.
Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.
A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.
Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.
There are too many women who are unaware of their breast density, believe their “Happy Gram” when it reports no significant findings and are at risk of receiving a later stage cancer diagnosis.