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Dreaming of a pink Christmas

Dawn and Joe Fortis always decorated the outside of their Fishkill home with Christmas lights, ever since their three children were little. But two years ago, they decided to decorate on a much grander scale.

Dawn and Joe Fortis's home at 47 Fairfax Road in Fishkill will again be decorated with holiday lights as a fundraiser for those with cancer. (Photo: Submitted)

Once they did, a stranger, impressed with their Christmas decorations, offered to donate money to the Fortis family to help pay their electric bill expenses. Soon, others were donating as well, so instead of paying their electric bill, the couple decided they would donate to Hope & Heroes, which researches children's cancer and blood disorders.

“Seeing the lights fills so many people’s hearts more than we knew we could,” Dawn Fortis said, choking back tears. “We even had a van of children and adults who have autism stop by as their school trip.” 

A donation box is illuminated in front of the Fishkill home. (Photo: Dawn Fortis/Courtesy photo)


Two years ago, Dawn Fortis was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy and Herceptin treatments, and a double radical mastectomy. Because of her experience with cancer and her desire to help others, she created the Brielle Grace Breast Cancer Foundation, and has since raised $60,000.

This year’s donations from visiting the Fortis's 60,000 lights and their house decked out in pink will go to her foundation.


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