July Volunteer of the Month: Michelle H. Wong Halabi

We are proud to announce Michelle H. Wong Halabi as July’s Volunteer of the Month. Her passion and dedication to Komen’s mission is evident in her involvement with the Komen Young Professionals and as a board member. Becca Thomas, director of events and marketing says, ” Michelle takes the initiative on planning events and works well when leading and directing other volunteers. She has the affiliates’ best interest and overall mission always in mind. She has been instrumental in getting many new members and volunteers involved.”

Thank you Michelle for being a positive role model and inspiration to us all.

Read below, in Michelle’s own words, what drives her to volunteer, advocate for survivors and Komen’s mission.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
I tend to think that I have two inspirations for getting involved with Komen Columbus.  First was my grandmother – although she passed away well before I was born, I can’t help but think about her when I hear about all the incredible advances that are being made in breast cancer treatment and research.  She was diagnosed at a time when treatment options were few and information was scarce.  It saddens me to think about what my family went through not knowing all we know today.  I feel fortunate to live in a time where we have learned so much more about the disease and are making real strides towards finding a cure.  My second inspiration comes from a client who was introduced to me while battling the advanced stages of breast cancer.  She wanted to write her Last Will and Testament before she died to provide for her children.  Unfortunately, she passed away before she had that opportunity.  It was heartbreaking for me to know that I could have helped carry out her final wishes.  That experience really affected me.  Since then, I’ve been devoted to helping breast cancer survivors and their families with their estate plans in the hopes that my services can provide some small comfort to those battling the disease.

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What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
My favorite part of volunteering with Komen Columbus is knowing that my effort matters.  I’m passionate about volunteering because I know so much of the funds raised stay in our local community to serve those who need it most.  I enjoy knowing that we will undoubtedly find a cure.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
The most memorable Komen moment was at my very first race.  I was overwhelmed by the energy and the incredible feeling of hope and camaraderie among not strangers, but family.  Every race stirs up those emotions but you never forget your first.  It’s heartwarming to know that so many people believe in this cause and are willing to support it.

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What is your favorite part about chairing the Komen Young Professionals? The most challenging part?
My favorite part of chairing KYP is the opportunity to let my creative side run free.  I enjoy brainstorming new and interesting ways for people to learn about and get involved in the fight for a cure.  I also enjoy meeting people and developing relationships with other passionate volunteers.  The most challenging aspect of my position is the time demands associated with coordinating the KYP and board duties with and my day to day job.  Fortunately for me, KYP volunteers are awesome.  The committee chairs and volunteers are always ready to dive in and help.

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When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
I love my job so I spend most of my time thinking about other people’s estate plans and tax consequences.  Aside from that, I enjoy spending time with my husband, practicing yoga and walking my dog in the park.  And I love to cook, mostly desserts.

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