May winner

Offering optimism and hope to brain tumor patients

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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.”


Help Shimkus, Murphy & Lemkuil, Inc. win $10,000 for the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance by clicking the vote button. Get them an extra vote by cheering them on in the comments below.

883 Votes
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1 year ago

I’m proud and in awe of you everyday. You’re incredible.

Betty Mead
1 year ago

God bless you, Susan, for sharing your story & giving of yourself to help others. You are a real inspiration.

Karen Zerrahn
1 year ago

So inspirational! Keep going Susan, you’ve got this!

Rick Shannon
1 year ago

Thanks for supporting such a great cause

Holly Nesbit
1 year ago

You helped our family with Jon’s battle!! You and your family mean the world to us!!

Frances Batista
1 year ago

Susan, good luck!!!!!!! You got this!!!!

1 year ago

Susan is an amazing, selfless person.

Derik Whalen
1 year ago

Excellent work supporting this cause! Very impactful

1 year ago

Susan is ….an inspiration!

Wendy NelsonKauffman
1 year ago

Thanks for your extraordinary work for this cause

1 year ago

Inspiring – we all need to follow in those footsteps

don b
1 year ago

This great cause deserves all our support
Best wishes. Huge hopes.

1 year ago

Bravo, Susan!

1 year ago

Susan, what a wonderful organization. Thank you for your courage and positivity using your journey to help others.

Mary Beth R
1 year ago

I admire your positivity as well as the important work being done by CTBTA. Truly a great cause!

Kayla Chiara
1 year ago

An inspiring story for all. You got this!

Don B
1 year ago

Hope and positivity
Prayer and support
Friends and family

Linda Starr
1 year ago

Good luck in your efforts to support such a worthy cause!

Michele Griffith
1 year ago

Susan,you are awesome. A great cause for sure!

Tami Stein
1 year ago

You guys are the best!

Don McManus
1 year ago

Congratulations! Keep up the great work!

1 year ago

Great cause!

Noreen Cullen
1 year ago

A terrific cause! Blessings on all those who walk this path.

1 year ago

Great work Susan!

1 year ago

Good job guys

Alexa Paolella
1 year ago

Susan, your grace and spirit is inspiration to us all. Congratulations.

Sally Kirkutis
1 year ago

Susan, you are the most amazing positive person I’ve ever known and admired.

1 year ago

Susan, you and Dave do amazing work advocating for the CT Brain Tumor Alliance.

Mary Beth Murphy
1 year ago

CTBTA has been the support system newly diagnosed brain tumor patients always needed.

Kandice G
1 year ago

Vote vote vote!!!

Demetra Giatas
1 year ago

A great cause – kudos Susan on your advocacy! Good luck!

Colleen McDonough
1 year ago

What a great cause…. Best of Luck Susan

Dina Plapler
1 year ago

Thank you Susan for your advocacy for this important cause!

1 year ago

What a great cause!!!!

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