Paige Norton is our Volunteer in the Spotlight. Paige has gone above and beyond her duties as a member of the Event Committee and truly exemplifies the qualities a Foundation looks for when working with volunteers. We had a chance to catch up with Paige this fall and she filled us in on her involvement with VABC.
When I found out about VABC I immediately felt a great affinity to its mission to find a cure for brain cancer by advancing scientific research, increasing awareness within the medical community and supporting patients and families afflicted with this devastating disease. A mutual friend of the Lichtenstein’s invited me to the first annual fundraising event, Sounding Off For A Cure, and I knew that I wanted to get involved.
I have a personal connection to VABC because five years ago I lost my fiancé, Peter Philbrick, to a brain tumor, just three days after his 38th birthday. Before his tumor, Pete was a competitive marathoner with a quick wit, huge smile and tremendous drive and mental toughness. During most of his two-year illness his sense of humor and optimism remained strong, but multiplying physical impairments and changes in the mental and emotional functioning of his brain showed me what a uniquely cruel disease brain cancer can be. Participation in VABC is a way to for me to help keep Pete’s memory alive while helping reduce the number of people who will have to experience what we and the rest of his loved ones went through.
Throughout Pete’s illness we fortunately had access to a large number of resources in Boston, where we lived. Through local support groups we befriended a number of other brain tumor patients and their families who helped us immensely by sharing information and empathy. When I moved to New York a few years ago I was surprised to learn that a lot of the resources we had relied on weren’t as readily available in the New York area. VABC is developing and funding some of those resources, in addition to supporting the search for a cure right now.
I co-chaired this year’s Sounding Off For A Cure Event Committee and have pursued a few additional potential sources of funding for the Foundation since I began volunteering for VABC. My best experience, so far, has been when I walked into this year’s fundraising gala at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I was so impressed by how much support had been generated for such an important cause and by such a young group. The Lichtenstein family and friends; Powered by Professionals; and all of the volunteers, donors and attendees brought something amazing to life that night.
On a personal note, I am 36 and have an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. I recently started a new job as Program Manager in Citi Card’s Customer Engagement group and prior to this worked for American Express in New York, and Digitas and Accenture in Boston. I enjoy running, hiking and spending time on the water.
Looking forward to my future with VABC, I certainly want to stay involved with the fundraising events and would like to help grow our fundraising efforts through other means that we are currently researching. I also enjoyed being involved in the Raise Your Voice Program patient/family resource guide, and would welcome the opportunity to stay more in touch with patients and their families going forward.
If you are interested in volunteering for VABC, please contact Darren Port at 646.278.6735 to get involved.