Board Member Michael Burkhardt Discusses his Involvement with Voices Against Brain Cancer
The best part of working with Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC) has been seeing how everybody supports each other when times are tough. To me, VABC feels like a safety net. God forbid one of my MRI’s brings bad news; I know I can count on VABC to embrace me and help me take care of things.
I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2007. As early as my first sleepless night in the hospital after surgery, I planned to start a fundraising cancer charity. My friends and family had already started a foundation called “Team Burks” to raise money for my medical bills and at that point, my wife, Eden, and I were introduced to VABC founder Mario Lichtenstein. We had lunch, hit it off, and I found what I was looking for. No need to start my own charity when everything I wanted to do already existed. I wanted to become a part of what VABC was accomplishing very quickly.
I’m happy to say a lot of people came to support me at Sounding Off For A Cure in June 2008. I got a chance to speak and it felt good to be an active part of that night. I feel really confident about how VABC is using the funds we raised. As a Board Member, I am also actively involved in organizing and fundraising.
VABC has some great things happening now, working with high schools and communities, and doing things that I don’t think have really been done before. My family has been a huge part of everything I do and my Aunt Eileen is really driving big plans at Massapequa High School. I’m happy to be a part of it. Eden is very active with the Caregiver Support Group too, and I know that she really looks forward to those meetings.
In this economic environment, raising money will be challenging, but brain tumors don’t get laid off in a recession.
My interests include snowboarding, skydiving, scuba diving and snorkeling, but I love a good laugh with my wife, friends and family most. I work in sales and have a BA in Journalism from SUNY Geneseo.
Pictured above: Michael Burkhardt, left, with his wife, Committee Member Eden Burkhardt.
If you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors or Volunteer Committee, please contact Darren Port at
646.278.6735 or firstname.lastname@example.org.