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The Official Site of the New York Islanders


by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
By Gwen Benedict, friend of Dawn

I lost my best friend, Dawn to breast cancer at the age of 40. She was diagnosed at the young age of 37, with stage four Cancer and no family history of breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and two lumpectomies followed by chemo and radiation, but signs of cancer kept returning. She endured blood stem cells and bone marrow transplants before losing her battle. It was grueling, but she never gave up hope and faith. She battled with such courage. I admired how hard she fought. I tried to spend as much time with her as I could, even though I was going through my divorce and was about to move away. I knew our time together would be limited.

She had such beautiful blue eyes and long blond hair that kept falling out. We'd try on wigs, but they were itchy, so hair wraps would do.

We had become friends as teens and were always there for each other through good times and bad. We went through work, our marriages, the births of our children. We were both Geriatric Nurses and she was Godmother to my son Ross.

Dawn had such a beautiful heart. I'd tease her about her love of animals and her 'zoo'. She was always 'taking in' any animal that need care and love. You name it, a snake, turtles, rats, mice, birds, dogs... I think her REAL calling was to become a veterinarian. She was a great cook and loved to share her recipes. I enjoyed many meals with her. She teased me about being a 'fanatical' Islanders fan!

She left behind a loving husband, Steve and two sons, Stevie and Ryan. I miss her so much. Not a day goes by that she's not in my thoughts. She's missed so much. I thought we'd grow old together. I imagine she's taking care of our beloved pets in Heaven. Her birthday is in October and even though it's been 14 years since her passing, the pain remains the same. Love you always Dawn.

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