The Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance provides hope, support and community for brain tumor patients and their caregivers, while advancing brain tumor awareness, quality of care and brain tumor research.
After the executive vice president of Shimkus, Murphy & Lemkuil, Inc., Susan Shimkus Lemkuil, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she began to learn firsthand the ins and outs of coping with this disease. She went through four successful brain surgeries with the support of the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance (CTBTA), and was treated with chemotherapy for a year, all of which gave her the determination to help others who had gone through what she had.
Inspired by the cause
After the care and support that CTBTA had provided to Susan, she and the rest of the agency had a strong inclination to spend more time with this nonprofit. Through the CTBTA, the agency has provided financial, emotional and medical support for those fighting brain tumors. Many throughout the agency have donated their time and resources in order to help contribute to this important cause.
“We can each attest that a brain tumor diagnosis is life-changing, but the CTBTA will be here to guide you through this journey.”
— Chris Cusano, Executive Director of the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance
Throughout each year, members of the agency volunteer at the CTBTA’s various charity events. Recently, they’ve supported the Path of Hope 5k, Brainstormin’ and Giving Tuesday events, where every dollar raised helped the nonprofit move closer to making Connecticut a center of excellence for brain tumor care. “As I celebrate 15 years of survivorship, my journey has come full-circle,” said CTBTA Executive Director Chris Cusano. “We can each attest that a brain tumor diagnosis is life-changing, but the CTBTA will be here to guide you through this journey.”
Building a stronger connection
Both David and Susan Shimkus Lemkuil ultimately joined the CTBTA’s Board of Directors, allowing them to have an even closer connection to the organization. Susan was also chairman for Laughter on the Brain for five years and volunteered for golf tournaments, galas and many other events. Her daily involvement and passion for the cause have helped immensely in advancing brain tumor awareness, quality of care and brain tumor research. As board members, they have even more direct involvement with the various fundraiser events that are annually put together to raise money and awareness.
Each year, several events are planned and executed. The Path of Hope 5k Journey, which has been running for 10 years, this year in partnership with the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, raises funds and awareness by gathering walkers and runners to celebrate survivorship and honor those who have passed.
“Many people don’t have hope. As for what helped me through my treatment, I credit both the CTBTA and maintaining a positive attitude.”
— Susan Shimkus Lemkuil, Executive Vice President of Shimkus, Murphy & Lemkuil, Inc. and President of SML Real Estate, Inc.
The path forward
The agency intends to continue volunteering at events and supporting the CTBTA with donations. In November 2022, they donated a $5,000 check toward their 2022 Annual Appeal, which supported the nonprofit’s 2023 grant distributions. The agency also shares information about local charitable giving across social media. If they win $10,000 for a Make More Happen Award, the money will go toward patient assistance funds and additional research.
May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, so contributing to the cause is especially important right now for the agency. Every amount of effort that goes toward helping those suffering from brain tumors can help to save lives. “Many people don’t have hope,” said Susan Shimkus Lemkuil. “As for what helped me through my treatment, I credit both the CTBTA and maintaining a positive attitude.”