The Heartbeat of Haverhill

Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA

EAT BREAKFAST, HELP A FRIEND Breakfast Cafe in Bradford Supports Family in Fight Against Breast Cancer

DSC_0942 Breakfast Cafe Sign cropped

My husband and I went to the Breakfast Café (695 South Main St., Bradford, MA) the other day and noticed the pink menus, but didn’t think too much about it. Gracious restaurant partner Shauna (who we’ve grown to know over the years) came to our table with photos and to talk about her inspiration for deciding to support a local friend in her battle against breast cancer by fundraising  on the family’s behalf throughout October.  (Learn more about Jessica’s story at the restaurant.) Proprietors Shauna and Raif are decidedly low key about fundraising. They won’t assault you with requests for donations, but if you inquire about the signage, they will let you know how you can help.

Breakfast Cafe discreetly supports neighbor in her fight against Breast Cancer with special menu, change jar, and lighthouse photo raffle

Breakfast Cafe discreetly supports neighbor in her fight against Breast Cancer with special menu, change jar, and lighthouse photo raffle

The reality is there are so many diseases and tragedies in our world today that unless one touches you personally it may not be on your radar. But once it does, you begin to see how unfair and random it all can feel.

Maybe you hear about the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk or about the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, but you just pass it off as another group walking for another disease maybe wearing pink….until that walk or that collection supports research or living expenses that could help someone you love, it’s easy to ignore.

As Shauna discussed the young family in the biggest battle of its life, my heart became so heavy that my tear ducts overruled my decision not to cry. You see, a few weeks ago, I lost a very dear friend to the same disease. Dawn Richards and I met when she  was a stage 4 breast cancer patient.  A friend asked if I could help her pull together a book on her life.  And what a dynamo! Dawn was a force to be reckoned with – vibrant, funny, and inspirational. We clicked immediately and as she shared stories about her life we formed a strong bond that went well beyond the five-month period where I helped her write the book. Her book in hindsight was a memoir and a farewell called “The Cancer Table”. Dawn had an interesting take on cancer. She had a little partially hidden side table where she put all her cancer materials, schedules, research, etc. She was determined not to let cancer overtake her life beyond what she deemed necessary. She didn’t obsess about it; she didn’t have time with her busy schedule. She charged at life with gusto saying “to hell with the diagnosis”, and that is her story and her message.   And perhaps that is why she lived well beyond the doctor’s prognosis.

Dawn Richards and Alision Colby-Campbell earlier this year.

Dawn Richards and Alison Colby-Campbell at a book signing.

Shauna told us that a portion of the price of each meal offered on the pink menu page would help support the friend and neighbor. She pointed out the Breakfast Café “Pennies for a Purpose” jar full of change that would be part of the donation. When she left the table, my husband was left with a sobbing breakfast companion, dabbing at her eyes with napkins meant for poached egg spills (don’t you love the eggs Florentine Benedict!)

And, almost immediately a germ of an idea started forming. The Breakfast Café is lighthouse themed. My husband and I are lighthouse fans, and we’ve won a few awards as amateur photographers. Ultimately my husband Jonathan Campbell graciously offered to take one of his best lighthouse photos and mat and frame it and give it to the Breakfast Cafe to use in a raffle to complement Shauna and Raif’s efforts.

Breakfast Cafe's Shauna and Raif experienced first hand the havoc cancer can wreak on a family

Breakfast Cafe’s Shauna and Raif experienced first hand the havoc breast cancer can wreak on a family

So now the Breakfast Café has three ways to help support a friend in need. 1. Pink Menu items (my husband loved the Steak Bomb omelet. I am a salmon fan.)  2. Throw spare change in the Pennies for a Purpose jar. 3. Buy a raffle ticket ($1 for one, discounts for higher quantities) for my husband’s photo of Nubble Light in York, ME.  The photo is 11×14, 16×20 framed and valued at $150.

Please consider supporting the Breakfast Café in its effort to provide a little cushion for a neighbor. Because while it’s breast cancer month for those of us who aren’t afflicted with the disease, those who are will most likely continue their battle far beyond the end of the month.

Nubble Lighthouse photograph matted and framed by Jonathan Campbell

Nubble Lighthouse photograph matted and framed by Jonathan Campbell

Some facts about Breast Cancer according to the American Cancer Society,

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Breast cancer death rates have been going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and better treatment. Right now there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

And let’s bust a myth right here: Breast cancer is not just about women. Though less frequently, men can get breast cancer, too. And we can’t ignore how many men have their lives dramatically altered when their wife/mother/sister/daughter/friend is diagnosed.

The Breakfast Café (aka The Lighthouse Café)  695 South Main St, Bradford/Haverhill (978) 521-1755


©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell in honor of Dawn Richards

NOTE: To learn more about a life lived well despite terminal breast cancer, check out Dawn Richards’  book The Cancer Table


Marks Deli is fundraising for a seriously ill member of the police force who is suffereing from cancer. Marks Deli 2 Railroad Square Haverhill, MA 01832‎ (978) 374-9402

Raff’s is also supporting Breast Cancer research by teaming up with Pam Tremblay’s Team in the Making Strides Walk.  Raff’s Cafe 620 Primrose St, Haverhill, MA 01832 (978)373-4376.

And while you may not get breakfast at the 99, they are regular partners in community fundraising and for October you can help the Boys and Girls Club. 99 Restaurant 786 River St  Haverhill, MA 01832, 978-372-8303  

4 comments on “EAT BREAKFAST, HELP A FRIEND Breakfast Cafe in Bradford Supports Family in Fight Against Breast Cancer

  1. lynnefavreau
    October 12, 2013

    Terrific post Alison. I’ve never been to The Breakfast Cafe but will head over someday this week. I’m a breast cancer survivor so I truly appreciate their efforts.

    • Brain4Rent/THoH
      October 12, 2013

      Hi Lynne, So glad to hear your happy ending story. Those are happening more and more frequently. Breakfast Cafe is a very good neighbor and they make a fab veggie omelet.

  2. Catherine
    November 12, 2013

    The focus today with cancer would be to remove it at all expenses simply because that’s the only way our medicine system can profit in the disease. Whereas the concentrate ought to be addressing the underlying cause or causes that will strengthen the immune method and also the immune system will remove the cancer, but nobody can profit from that. The reason is, that is only achievable by all-natural means.

  3. Justin Bubar
    November 13, 2013

    The cure for cancer will remain elusive unless scientists rethink the role of nature and the meals it produces such as berries, broccoli, turmeric, and a host of others which have cancer fighting properties. It is extensively known that the substances in these foods boost the immune method which then corrects the reason why the disease appeared within the initial place. But unfortunately you cannot patent our meals because it is really a all-natural item and nature cannot be patented. That’s why it won’t be provided.

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Alison Colby-Campbell



Full-brain user demonstrating a healthy(?) obsession with marketing, promotion, writing, photography, house rabbits, the natural world, tennis, big and small problem solving, reading, hiking, HGTV and the flotsam & jetsam of everyday life. My three blogs Brain4Rent, The Heartbeat of Haverhill, Alison Colby-Campbell Photography are Wordpress based.

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