Former resident raises breast cancer awareness
by Christina Rowland
Aug 27, 2011 | 2493 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Yolanda Moreno Cunningham, a former Three Rivers resident, was on a wine bottle released earlier this year. She was part of the Women of Cleavage Creek Collection for 2010.
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A random workday in May 2007 will be a day former Three Rivers resident Yolanda Moreno Cunningham will never forget. It was when she found out she had breast cancer.

An optimistic and positive woman, Cunningham never let the cancer get her down. She dressed to impress every day and found programs and fundraisers to participate in that raised awareness and funds for breast cancer research. One of the most unique things she did was appear on a wine bottle.

Cunningham heard about the Women of Cleavage Creek through a friend and despite the slim chances of being picked, applied anyway. Cleavage Creek is a winery out in California. It is the brain child of Budge Brown, who lost his wife to breast cancer.

Every year since 2007, his winery puts out a collection of wines that feature women who have or have had breast cancer. The women of Cleavage Creek Collection donates 10 percent of their sales every year to breast cancer research.

However, Brown died in a plane crash in May and the winery no longer will produce this collection.

After applying, Cunningham was chosen to appear on a 2010 bottle that was released in early 2011. She described her experience with the winery as “amazing.”

“When they flew me out for my photo shoot, they personally picked me up at the airport and had me stay at their home on the vineyard,” Cunningham said. “ I was the only girl who was invited to stay the weekend as I am the only non-California person selected and the only brunette.”

When the wine was released, all 50 cases were bought up quickly.

Cunningham is proud of her work with the winery and the donation that will go to research because of it. Her battle with breast cancer has taught her to appreciate life and the experiences it has to offer.

“Your time on this world is not guaranteed,” she said. “Take advantage of every special moment you can. Make fabulous memories!”

Aside from her work with the winery, Cunningham has volunteered in other capacities for charitable organization that donate time and money to breast cancer research. She participates in the Komen 5K run in Dallas every year as well as 3-day for the Cure (a walking event) and knits pink scarves for breast cancer survivors.

Cunningham herself is not yet considered a survivor and because of that her volunteer efforts not only help others but also herself.

“We will not claim a clean bill of health until I reach my five-year mark,” Cunningham said. “ I still have a port and have to go for flushes every 6-8 weeks and full exams and blood work, etc., every six months as I am very high risk for return.”

Cunningham currently resides in Dallas and works as an executive assistant.

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