Baristanet Profile: Chiara D’Agostino


Chiara D’Agostino

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Chiara D’Agostino

Where do you live? Walnut Street in Montclair

When did you move there? I grew up there.

Where did you grow up? I’m a true Montclair native; born and bred on Walnut Street, Montclair.

How do you make a living? I’m unemployed at the moment as I go through breast cancer treatment. I was an Italian teacher at a local high school before I took time off summer of 2013 to get my Master’s degree in Florence. Currently, I’m blogging about my experience at and I look forward to continuing a bilingual career in the corporate world when I’m done with reconstruction.

Coffee, tea or … ? Decaf espresso!

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? Strolling the rooms of a museum filled with Italian Renaissance art, wandering the streets of NYC (or any other city) and taking in all the sights, hiking and laughing with a good friend, walking the boardwalk of Cape May or seeing live, outdoor music!

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Fin, Plum, Samba & Raymond’s.

What’s on your nightstand? “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, “Sexy After Cancer” by Barbara Musser, “Going Gray” by Anne Kreamer and “The El” by Cathy Brown.

What are you listening to? Sounds of ocean waves or the CD I bought at their retreat last weekend.

What are your current addictions? Watermelon, coconut milk, dried mango and my friend’s dog Slater.

Talent you would most like to have. To sing!

What’s the worst-kept secret about Montclair? I can’t think of any bad secrets, I love this town!

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? That I am a kind, happy, fun-loving, vibrant, intelligent woman who’s smile lights up a room.

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  1. Than you for the spotlight, I enjoy being part of the Baristanet family and my native town, Montclair!

  2. Chiara is filled with marvelous qualities, a joy of life, an inquisitive mind and a warmth for others. She has flashed her radiant smiles despite a life altering year. The idea that she is providing support now for others who face the same ordeal she has gone through I attribute to her good nature. I am so happy to have known Chiara since she was a girl in the Montclair schools and my daughter’s good friend.

  3. Chiara is a bellissima and bravissima hero! What a blessing to be helping so many people through her courage and positive action. GRAZIE Chiara!!!

  4. This is a lovely woman has turned her breast cancer diagnosis into a positive motivation tool to help other women diagnosed with breast cancer, and she took on role of an activist/ representative in the Breast Cancer Community. She used her diagnosis as an opportunity to speak up for women who have had single/ double mastectomies, women who are in middle of cancer treatment or post cancer maintenance ( yearly mammograms / sonograms/ unnerving visits to surgeon, to your oncologist- you name it). I met Chiara at SHARE Brest Cancer support group. I my self, am a two time breast cancer survivor navigating a complex road of post cancer treatment, which is NOT easy with the health insurance system established in this country. She’s been a friend and a kindred spirit since. Chiara has been involved in many campaigns to bring awareness to this very complex disease. She has been the voice of many women who feel scarred by single/ double mastectomy as well as other women who are just getting by while enduring grueling treatments like chemotherapy, radiology, hormone therapy . When I think of Chiara a couple of quotes come to mind that she would say –
    ” I had cancer, not coodies”
    “Ladies who’ve lost a boob — or two — are still sexy, just by the sheer virtue of still being alive. They’re also feisty. And pissed off. At you.” Much love Chiara keep up the good work. So many women need a strong voice like your’s to represent them.
    1st cancer diagnosis at age 39.
    2nd diagnosis, opposite side at age 40. Been through 2 substantial lumpectomies, chemo, radiation x2 ( first radiation was so intense I had 2nd degree burns and am permanently disfigured), followed by grueling hormone treatment.

  5. Great profile! You really capture the essence of that beautiful force of nature that is Chiara. We also met at the SHARE breast cancer support group. I’m happy to know this amazing woman who’s an outspoken advocate for breast cancer awareness and early detection. And also, that my novel “The El” is on her nightstand.

  6. So great you are profiling someone like Chiara! She has been through so much and has remained positive and an inspiration to so many!

  7. Perfect October profile! I met Chiara years ago and we were very close friends for a while , then kind of lost contact due to life, until I learned what she was going through ! Having just lost my mother to cancer, and she having just lost her dad, then shortly after cancer striking her , we reconnected and all I can say is that she is an amazing woman with an strong Passion for life and a beautiful smile to boot in the face of one of the most difficult adversity a woman can encounter! I helped create her blog”” ( took that picture!) and hope her courageous and beautiful attitude will help other women going through such impossibly difficult times! You go Chiara!!

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