AnneMarie Ciccarella sat inside her home in Long Beach, New York, and got ready to flip a coin. It was a Saturday afternoon, she had a lot on her mind
and more than 48 hours of Memorial Day weekend
2017 stretched out before her. From her home in
Los Angeles, Lori Marx-Rubiner texted Ciccarella
one word, “Heads.” Ciccarella tossed a quarter in
the air. It landed heads up on the carpet. Luck had
sealed the deal: She would spend the rest of the
weekend in L.A. with her best friend.
Welcome to the crazy, passionate world of
two widely loved and admired breast cancer
research advocates. While living on opposite
sides of the country, they have each other’s
backs. In conversation, their sentences intersect
and their words overlap with a shared understanding. There is no question, says Ciccarella.
“Together, we are better.”
A Social Media Connection
On Monday evenings, the Twittersphere is
home to a unique one-hour conversation that
flows under the hashtag #BCSM (for Breast
Cancer Social Media). Neither Ciccarella, 61,
nor Marx-Rubiner, 51, had expected to find
the person they’d been missing in their life on
Twitter, but when the #BCSM chat launched
in July 2011, they did.
Lori Marx-Rubiner and AnneMarie Ciccarella met on social media and
grew close through their cancer research advocacy.
BY SUE ROCHMAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN CHUNG
Editor’s Note: While this issue of Cancer Today was
being completed, we learned that Lori Marx-Rubiner
had died of her illness. Before her death, she and
AnneMarie Ciccarella asked that we publish the story
of their friendship and patient advocacy partnership
as it was originally written.