We are very proud to announce our April Volunteer of the Month, Michael Corey! Michael takes on the fight to beat breast cancer personally; he was by his mother’s side as she was battling breast cancer and won. He has also seen how this disease affects not only the survivors, but their families as well.
“Mike never hesitates to volunteer for our affiliate and goes unselfishly out of his way to demonstrate his passion for finding a cure for this disease,” Becca Thomas, director of events and marketing at Komen Columbus, wrote in her nomination of Michael.
Always thinking outside of the box, this year Michael organized the first ever Bracket Challenge for the Komen Young Professionals, compiling more than 100 entries into the challenge and raising vital funds for Komen Columbus. Michael also is the force behind the Attorney’s Challenge for this year’s Race for the Cure event. The law firm that registers the most people on its team will earn bragging rights. The firm that fundraises the most above and beyond all members’ registration fees will also be recognized.
Thank you, Michael, for all you do for Komen Columbus! Learn more about Michael below.
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
My mother’s triumph over breast cancer over a decade ago, and her subsequent service to Komen Columbus, inspired me to get involved as a runner and as a volunteer.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
The hope and belief that individuals and their families across Central Ohio will benefit from the awareness and dollars raised by Komen Columbus, whether from the annual Race or from all of the events in between.
What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
It’s hard to prescribe a superlative, as my memories of Komen Columbus go back to its earliest years when my parents began to run in memory of two great aunts that passed away from breast cancer. Personally, the most memorable moments have come during the Race itself, when my father and I used to run in honor of my mom. How grateful we were to be able to greet her at the finish line. She still walks in the Race with some of her closest friends from her involvement with Komen. My father passed away in 2005, and ever since my mom has put up a banner at the corner of High and Gay Streets, near where he used to work, alongside a Duke Blue Devil, the mascot of his beloved basketball team and alma mater. Running by that every year is always memorable, indeed.
And I was and am incredibly proud when the national Komen Foundation named my mom the 2006 National Volunteer of the Year due to her efforts as co-Development Chair of Komen Columbus.
Now my most memorable moments are in seeing the survivors run alongside one another—new friends, with much in common—and cross the finish line together, with family and friends there to greet them.
As a volunteer, I have two treasured memories, both stemming from my former duty as a chronicler of Central Ohio survivors for the Komen Columbus web site. The first was the opportunity to write a story about Heather Pick, the 10TV newswoman who fought the disease with a unswerving resolve and a public purpose of helping others beat the disease. I was able to spend an afternoon with her family, and it remains hard to think about how she was stolen from this world far too soon. The second was when I bypassed running the race one year in order to write about a new feature of Columbus Race for the Cure, the “Survivor Bus.” The bus was my mother’s brainchild: women who were currently fighting breast cancer, but could not run or walk in the race that particular year, could ride a bus together so they could still participate in the event. I mostly observed everyone that day, and tried to capture the emotions the survivors expressed every time a cheer came up from the crowd when the bus came into view.
When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
I’m grateful to be working as a health care attorney for a wonderful employer in Bricker & Eckler, and much of my time is spent there. Otherwise, I enjoy volunteering, reading, and cooking badly; watching too much college football and basketball; and all my time with my mom, my girlfriend, and my friends and family.