Shelby Notkin and his daughter Michelle Notkin know the pain of a breast cancer diagnosis. Both Melinda Notkin (Shelby’s wife and Michelle's mother) and Lin Paterson (Shelby's sister and Michelle's aunt) died from the disease in their 50s. So for more than 20 years the family has continued to make a series of philanthropic investments to help underwrite the Notkin Family Breast Cancer Recovery Program.
It feels sensational knowing the program is doing such great things for so many women.
Every year the program assists hundreds of women and their families through the process of diagnosis, treatment options and survivorship. This includes counseling and support groups, as well as the logistics of scheduling appointments, tracking medical records, handling insurance issues and much more, all free of charge to the patients.
“When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 52, it was frightening for all of us. She was treated at CPMC and the care was wonderful – she lived almost another seven years and we’re so grateful for every day of that time. But her experience gave us an up close view of just how difficult this disease can be. She often needed to see multiple doctors at once and scheduling all of that was very challenging. What we needed was someone who was familiar with her case, knew exactly what she needed and knew how to get it for her quickly. Ultimately, that’s what inspired us to create the Notkin Family Breast Cancer Recovery Program at CPMC more than a decade ago. Cancer Nurse Navigators work with doctors to help these women understand their treatment options and the program’s resources, including access to patient education, emotional counseling, support groups and more."