Spotlight: Peggy Zimdars and Ground for Celebration

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UW Carbone Cancer Center


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To host your own "Grounds for Celebration" contact:

Peggy Zimdars

(608) 233-8546

Peggy Zimdars and her family are working to make a difference for the UW Carbone Cancer Center one cup of coffee at a time.

Peggy Zimdars, breast cancer survivor, has "grounds for celebration" and she hopes to encourage others to "brew up" needed support for the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Learn more about Peggy and what inspired her to make a difference for others.


Please tell us a little about your cancer journey.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.


In less than a week, I went from hearing I had a perfect mammogram, to my physician wondering if she felt an edge, to waking up from surgery and realizing my diagnosis. My surgery was at another facility so I did not receive any cancer information until the day I began chemotherapy at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.


Arriving with many questions and concerns, I was reassured by the oncology team who listened, answered our questions, and with concern for each family member, helped us adjust to a new "normal" with both quality care and concern for me as an individual. Even though my oncologist moved out of state near the end of my radiation, the transition was seamless to another oncologist who followed me during hormone therapy and continues to see me annually.


Why the decision to give back to the UW Carbone Cancer Center?

My husband, John, and I have a strong history of cancer in our families. We are familiar with cancer's challenges and its blessings.

We were so thankful to have excellent care and the healing environment of the Carbone Cancer Center. The clinicians and staff recognize that cancer patients are individuals living within a life and a family. We want to support that experience for other patients and families.


Because of my treatment, I have been present to see both of our sons graduate from high school and college and pursue their careers. This year our oldest son will be getting married. My father is also celebrating over 35 years as a lymphoma survivor. We are thankful for cancer research and care with empathy.


Like many cancer patients, our family wanted to give back. While it is easy to think that your individual gift is too small to make a difference, working and giving together, we can have an impact.


Can you explain your Grounds for Celebration program?

We thought 10 years since diagnosis was "Grounds for Celebration," which made us think of coffee, which led to how we wanted to celebrate.


Our goal is to purchase up to 1000 coffee pillows from Door County Coffee for the UW Carbone Cancer Center. If each person who receives a coffee pillow would host a coffee for 10 people and each of the 10 individuals would donate $10 to the UW Carbone Cancer Center, each coffee pillow would raise $100, with the potential to raise thousands of dollars together.


Individuals and families might choose to celebrate with the coffee together, rather than hosting a coffee and donate $100 per coffee packet. If 100 cancer survivors could engage 10 people who would each host coffee for 10 friends who each donated $10, we would together raise $100,000!


If individuals want to participate, how do they learn more?

If you are interested in learning more about how you can receive coffee pillows and host your own "Grounds for Celebration," please contact Peggy Zimdars at or (608) 233-8546.