Oakwood, Andiamo restaurants team up to fight breast cancer

Dearborn, Mich. – October  Odds are, everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer.

Joe Vicari, president & CEO of the Andiamo Restaurant Group, was not able to beat those odds. He learned full well the toll the disease can take, when one of his team members was stricken and eventually succumbed to breast cancer.

“It was a very difficult situation for everyone—her family, her friends and everyone she worked with,” said Vicari.

Since then, Vicari and his restaurant group have pledged to help fight breast cancer and, for the second consecutive year, he is teaming up with a healthcare system to help fund free mammograms for uninsured and under insured women.

“We wanted to get involved; we wanted to give back to the community,” said Vicari.

Throughout October, the Andiamo Restaurant Group will donated $2 from every entrée sold to the Oakwood Healthcare System to provide free mammograms through the ‘Pasta & Passion’ event. The offer is good at any of the nine Andiamo locations throughout the Detroit metro area, including Dearborn, Livonia, Novi, Royal Oak, Bloomfield Township, Grosse Pointe Woods and the Detroit Riverfront. No coupon is necessary. 

Sophia Roumanis, MD, a radiologist in the Oakwood Healthcare System, said as many as one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetimes, but if caught early it is very treatable. She said programs like this are beneficial because the cost of the mammograms, and the discomfort and unease associated with the tests and the fear associated with a positive diagnosis are among the most common reasons women put off what can be a simple, life-saving procedure. Women should have mammograms annually beginning at age 40, or earlier if they have a family history of the disease.

“It’s important to come every year, so we can see any contrasts and detect anything early,” she said. “Most small cancers are fixable things. You just want to tell people: ‘don’t be afraid. This can be fixed. You’ll have less fear if you go ahead and do it.”

Vicari said last year, the Pasta & Passion program generated $60,000 to fund free mammograms. He wants to generate even more this year.

“We’re even more committed to get people to understand that early detection is the key,” he said.

For a full listing of Andiamo restaurant locations, visit www.andiamoitalia.com. To schedule a mammogram, call Oakwood at (800) 543-WELL.