East Islip, NY - April 26, 2016 - “My three-year old was scared. She ran away from me and she was crying. She said, ‘I don’t love you anymore, I only love Daddy.’ And I was devastated,” recalls Michele Brodtman.
The Babylon resident and elementary teacher in East Islip School District, proactively prepared for the physical side effects of her cancer treatment – including the decision to shave her head. She soon learned the side effects of cancer were vast and impacted her entire family more than she ever imagined. Devastated but determined, she took matters into her own hands.
Finding support in American Cancer Society led programs, Brodtman quickly went about finding exactly what she needed to help her and her family. She rallied her community of friends and family to join her at Relay For Life of North Babylon. She basked in the comradery and support gained from fellow cancer survivors at walks such as Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Jones Beach. She tapped into advocacy efforts relating to cancer. Exhausted, drained from both work at home and at school, Brodtman soon became a caring shoulder to lean on by others who were also fighting cancer.
Brodtman continues to dedicate her time to the Society’s patient programs and fundraising efforts. She recently was bestowed with the first-ever 2016 Heart and Soul Award which is presented to an individual who encompasses the mission of the Society through volunteerism and participation in events and mission initiatives.
The award was presented by Pat Bishop-Kelly, a volunteer and member of the American Cancer Society’s Suffolk County-based board. “It was not too long ago that through the miracle of research, supported by Society funding, Michele was given a drug that allowed her to say that she is cancer-free,” said Bishop-Kelly. “Michele Brodtman brings an extraordinary commitment to excellence, steadfastness, strength, honor, uncompromising integrity and a humble sense of valor,” she added.
National Volunteer Week
Often recognized during the third week of April, National Volunteer Week takes on a perennial twist as the American Cancer Society celebrates the volunteer achievements of Long Islanders year-round at Board meetings, distinguished events, community activities and Relay For Life. “The presentation of the Heart and Soul Award and the Evening of Hope event is just one more opportunity to say thank you to some of Long Island's most dedicated business and community leaders as well as our top volunteers and fundraisers,” said Katie Goepfrich, Sr. Community Manager for the Society in Hauppauge. “As a volunteer led organization we are always looking for new individuals to join us. From helping patients with everyday needs to leading community events to assisting with day-to-day office needs, our volunteers are the heart and soul of the American Cancer Society,” she said.
To learn more about Michele Brodtman, view the video below:
31 Relay For Life events on Long Island are scheduled in Nassau and Suffolk throughout May and June. To learn more visit www.relayforlife.org.
2 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks are scheduled on Long Island this October. To learn more visit www.makingstrideswalk.org.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit www.cancer.org or call 800.227.2345.
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress; 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.