Meet the Board

Joseph J. Cappello, Executive Director

Joseph J. Cappello married Nancy Marcucci, in 1974 and the story began. Joe is the co-founder of Are You Dense, and Are You Dense Advocacy. Joe was elected to take on the leadership role as Executive Director of Are You Dense, Inc and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc. in January of 2019 after Nancy’s passing from treatment related bone marrow cancer (MDS). His passion is to continue Nancy’s legacy by pursuing the goal that they set in 2004; that not one woman would die from a late- stage breast cancer due to dense breast tissue. In 2009, Joe and Nancy championed the first in the nation breast density inform law in the State of Connecticut. To date, there are now 36 States that have breast density legislation. This has given thousands of women in the U.S. and around the world a voice, because early detection matters.

In 2004 Nancy was diagnosed with stage 3c breast cancer. They decided to start Are You Dense, Inc and Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc to alert the world about the high risk of breast cancer for those women with dense breast tissue. To help finance these efforts Joe drew on his musical background to put together what became The Are You Dense MusicFest. It produced finances to Are You Dense, Inc for 10 years and gave great pleasure to thousands of people at the same time.

Joe received his entrepreneurial degree by developing three businesses in his career. He became a real estate broker and started his own business which continued for 30 years, selling homes and industrial / commercial property. He was also an independent rep for many years in the electronics industry, selling to industrial manufactures throughout New England. Joe has been an avid drummer since the age of 10. He played with The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra while still in grammar school and in many bands, writing and recording original music. He still plays in a jazz band on occasion. His interest in music ignited an idea to develop a business which manufactures and distributes a unique portable drum set throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He also holds a U.S. Patent on the electronics portion of the drum set.

Joe is a licensed private pilot and also enjoys being on his boat with friends and a good cigar.

Donna Johnson, President

Donna Marie Johnson is the Community Relations Liaison for Diagnostic Radiology Associates (DRA), a private radiology practice located in Waterbury, Middlebury and Southbury CT. Donna has been with DRA for 23 years, helping to spread the word about the importance of breast cancer screening and preventative breast health. She has been instrumental in many fundraisers for organizations such as Waterbury Hospital, Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center, Waterbury Hospital Auxiliary, Easter Seals and other health- related organizations. Donna believes that women need to be informed and empowered about their own health and has joined the Board of Directors of Are You Dense, Inc. to help spread the word about breast density to women across the country. She lives in Woodbury CT with her husband Jim, has two grown daughters, and the most beautiful grandson in the world.

Kathleen Brochhausen, Vice President

Kathleen Brochhausen, MSOB, currently works as Senior Vice President, Community Relations Officer for Ion Bank and is the Executive Director of Ion Bank Foundation. Previously, she worked in the field of Human Resources/Organization Development. She resides in Naugatuck CT. Along with her affiliation with Are You Dense, Inc. Kathy has been an advocate for cancer research since her niece experienced cancer at age three. She has participated in the Relay For Life of Greater Waterbury for many years and is involved various organizations including Palace Theater, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, the Connecticut Community Foundation, and the Rotary Club of Naugatuck. Kathy’s experience with breast cancer has been through the pain and suffering of loved ones and co-workers who have battled the disease. Kathy first learned of Are You Dense Inc. when she attended the Are You Dense MusicFest in 2010 and she has been passionate about the mission of the organization ever since.

Linda Salvatore, Secretary

Cheshire CT resident Linda Salvatore joined the Board of Directors of Are You Dense, Inc. early in 2021, assuming the role of secretary. Meeting Nancy Cappello in 2005 at the Brave at Heart support group soon led to their friendship and Linda’s continued support for Are You Dense. Professionally, Linda began her career in Naugatuck as school media specialist, a position she held for 25 years. On the Board of Directors for CEMA (Connecticut Educational Media Association}, Linda chaired state conferences to include managing presentations, scheduling, vending, and hospitality. In addition to media, Linda performed administrative duties for Connecticut’s Nutmeg Children’s Book Award and, as Director of District Technology Training, coordinated technology training for the Naugatuck CT school system. The last 12 years of her career were spent as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, and mentor teacher at the middle school level. Retiring in 2014, Linda continues in the education field working as a tutor for Naugatuck High School and keeping her husband, Gary, well-fed and entertained.

Suzanne McDonald, Executive Administrative Assistant 

Suzanne McDonald is a breast cancer survivor who fought and overcame late-stage 3C breast cancer. Originally from Sweden, Suzanne moved to the US in 1979 after graduating with a degree in social science. Her professional journey in America began as a personal assistant at Prudential and later as Vice President of Clear Dimension, a company focused on promotional gifts for the investment banking industry. Suzanne co-founded a landscaping company, Four-Season Service, with her late husband. In 2013, Suzanne crossed paths with Dr. Nancy Cappello through the Brave at Heart breast cancer support group and joined Are Dense, Inc. as an administrative assistant. Since getting involved with Are Dense, Inc., Suzanne has passionately dedicated herself to raising awareness about breast density and its impact on breast cancer detection. Her personal experience as a breast cancer survivor has driven her to advocate for better screening methods and access to information for women everywhere.

Debbie Rosenthal

As an 11-year breast cancer survivor, Debbie is passionate about creating awareness regarding the impact of dense breast tissue and the importance of breast cancer screenings, and is a member of the Brave at Heart breast cancer support group. Debbie was one of the first to benefit from Nancy Cappello’s work, which later became known as Are You Dense, Inc. With gratitude, she joined the Are You Dense, Inc. Board of Directors as a supporting member. A graduate of The New York Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Marketing, she worked in financial services, going on to raise three children. Debbie has also worked in the field of interior design. She enjoys playing tennis to maintain her health.

Beth Sieling M.D.

Dr. Sieling is a board-certified general surgeon who earned her medical degree from East Carolina University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in general surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital in suburban Philadelphia, as well as a Breast Surgery Fellowship under the tutelage of nationally-renowned experts at The Comprehensive Breast Center in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sieling is skilled in the most advanced technologies available for the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease, including minimally invasive stereotactic and ultrasound-guided core breast biopsies. She also performs skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomy, placement of accelerated partial breast irradiation catheters, and genetic counseling and testing for patients at risk for BRCA gene mutations. Beth is known for her outrageously wonderful care of her patients and always goes above and beyond for them. She lives in Southbury CT with her wonderful husband and her two great children.

Berenice Toomey-Welch

A native of Connecticut, Berenice graduated from Western CT State University with a B.S. and M.S. in education. Following a 30-year teaching career at Sandy Hook Elementary School, she went on to work for an investment firm. Her volunteer work began as as grief counselor at Hartford Hospital and continues with Are You Dense since its inception. Berenice is very honored to be a member of the Board of Directors, all dedicated to a very educational and worthy cause for women throughout the world, and holds it close to her heart.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #1:

    Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #2:

    Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 40% of post-menopausal women have dense breast tissue. 

  • Are You Dense? Fact #3:

    Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #4:

    American College of Radiology describes women with "Dense Breast Tissue" as having a higher than average risk of Breast Cancer.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #5:

    While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with dense breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #6:

    A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #7:

    Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #8:

    A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #9:

    Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #10

    There are too many women who are unaware of their breast density, believe their “Happy Gram” when it reports no significant findings and are at risk of receiving a later stage cancer diagnosis.