RICHARD M. BRODSKY Architect turned author Brodsky has finally found the role of his life, being president of the Foundation that bears his name. “There is no greater joy than raising and then giving away money to those in need. It’s fun and rewarding,” he says. For example, the proceeds from his 2004 World AIDS Marathon in Kenya are funding the March, 2005 groundbreaking for the 50-bed Little Lambs AIDS orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya, a much-needed home that the Foundation intends to continue supporting. In 1997, Brodsky had to tell his wife Jodi that he’d contracted HIV from another man, and although many women would have chosen to end their marriages and taken the kids with them, Jodi chose to stay. Richard chronicled this moving experience in his 2002 book, Jodi, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told . Later in 2002, Richard was diagnosed with brain cancer (not related to his HIV), for which he underwent radiation treatment. To date, both his HIV and cancer treatments appear to have been successful, and his family — Jodi and their three daughters - is happily intact. Richard wants to help not just people living with HIV in Africa, but people living with brain cancer and HIV in Long Island and America as well.
Richard and his Foundation have sponsored or co-sponsored 11 World AIDS Marathons to benefit people living with HIV and cancer. The 2015 World AIDS Marathon will be its 12th marathon on two continents. In his spare time Richard has spoken at major Universities about the 15,200,000 AIDS orphans living in Sub-Saharan Africa who need to be raised in loving, nurturing homes. Richard goes on to discuss how important it is for people living with HIV and brain cancer to eat healthy, exercise, lead an upbeat lifestyle and avoid stressful situations, do not smoke or drink alcohol, and never have sex without a condom unless you are in a monogamous relationship. If society could realize how important it is for all people living with HIV to have access to the AIDS medicine, it would follow that hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved every year. Richard also runs several marathons a year, and his last 3 have been his fastest ever - breaking the 4 hour marathon in Hertford in 2015.
The Foundation has sponsored 18 festive orphan dinner dances for 6,200 Kenyan orphans, had doctors examine and treat 691 orphans and save the lives of 230. Says Brodsky "my board members and I would like to think of our Foundation as a mini Doctors Without Borders except we have two advantages: 1) Not only do the doctors get to examine and treat the orphans, they get to dine and dance with them as well, and 2) they get to run with the Kenyans on World AIDS Day in a marathon, half marathon, or 5K relay".
DR. CASILDA BALMACEDA is the brain cancer specialist who Richard credits with saving his life. Argentine-born and fluent in four languages, Dr. Balmaceda received her M.D. from Columbia University in 1987, where she currently practices and teaches. She has been widely published in medical journals and textbooks, and has made many professional presentations both in Europe (many “in language”), and here in the United States. Her natural curiosity and background led her to her two main professional interests: brain cancer, and helping the underserved. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that at Columbia University she has lectured both about brain tumors and, separately, cultural competence, which is helping the underserved, many of whom are foreign-born, to navigate America’s complex medical system. She is extremely devoted to her two children and treats her patients like family. Says Richard, “you will never find a doctor as caring or compassionate as Dr. Balmaceda. Most doctors don’t hug their patients; she does, and for that, plus the fact that I’m still alive today, I think she’s absolutely extraordinary."
GERI BARISH is the Executive Director of Hewlett House and President of 1 in 9: The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition. Hewlett House fulfills a dream that Geri Barish had while battling breast cancer.
Geri vowed a long time ago that, given the opportunity, she would ensure that no one would have to go through what she had gone through—battling this dreadful disease alone.
She is a three-time breast cancer survivor and activist whose oldest son, Michael, died in 1986 from complications of Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Geri has been at the forefront in the battle against the high incidence of cancer on Long Island since 1988, and has spearheaded major changes to local, state and federal legislation, resulting in new policies that positively impact people with cancer, help to clean up toxins in our environment and take greater steps towards finding cancer's causes and cure.
LOKHIN CHENG is an incoming freshman to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as well as Business. Born in Hong Kong, China, Lokhin immigrated to the United States at the age five and settled in Green Bay, Wisconsin for his middle and high school years. He has worked with the Brodsky Foundation for a year with graphic and web design, and hopes to continue in his college and post-college years. Says Brodsky, “It is not everyday a student turns down Princeton to go to M.I.T. Lokhin’s graphic design skills are unmatched for his age as exemplified by the posters he designed honoring Matthew Hartman, Dr. Richard Sartori and more recently Dr. Julian Howard of Australia.
LUISA DUTRA Mother of six children, cancer survivor. Luisa is a lifetime member of Hadassah and she is not even Jewish. Luisa embraces all faiths and people and supports many charities. Luisa truly embodies the spirit of what it means to give with your heart. Sitting in my (Brodsky’s) living room is a painting that Luisa donated to the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation. The purpose of the gift is to raise funds for my foundation. When I questioned Luisa about the value of the painting so the foundation could give her a letter stating the value of the painting, Luisa said, “I do not support charities to reduce the money I pay in income taxes; I give because I want to help.” This concept of giving and helping others has not gone unnoticed by her children, who are often helping others, too. Luisa may not be an artist, but her gift of a painting to the foundation expresses how society needs to view the art of giving.
ALIE ELEVELD is a Dutch public health specialist with over 28 years of working experience in HIV related and Water and Sanitation programs in Eastern Africa. She is a Pediatric Nurse with a Certificate in Tropical Medicine, a Diploma in Community Health and a Masters in Public Health with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is the founding member of the Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP), a Kenyan registered NGO with a mission to establish health oriented micro enterprises. Alie is Vice Chair of the Nyanza Club, a private membership club; vice chair of the Nyanza Reproductive Health Society; Local Representative for PUM Netherlands Senior Experts; Warden of the Dutch Community and was decorated in April 2013 as a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau.
Alie has been the chief fundraiser of the Kisumu World AIDS Marathon Group, which co-sponsors the World AIDS Marathon and she generally raises in the range of $10,000 + provides 500+ volunteers to provide support for the runners and set up for the 42 water stations.
ASHER MATATHIAS, Born December 3, 1943, on a mountain cave outside Volos, Greece, while hiding from the Nazis; family members perished in Thessaloniki's famed Sephardic community. Asher arrived with family in New York on January 30, 1956, aboard the USS Constitution, victims of shattering earthquakes ... Affiliated with United Sephardim of Brooklyn (New Lots). Asher received his B.A. from Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus), class of ‘65; a M.A. from the Graduate Faculty of the New School, class of ‘67; and completed course work for a Ph.D. in political science at the same school. Republican and Liberal candidate for Assemblyman, 36 A.D., 1974. Asher has invested more than three decades in the NYC secondary public school system. He was an instructor at Manhattan College, and continuing as an adjunct professor of political science at St. John's University, and Supervisor of student teachers at Queens College-CUNY.
Asher is a frequent public speaker on current events, American government and politics, Shoa, Israel, Greece. Monthly lecturer on current events, Helen Keller Services for the Blind, Hempstead, NY; lectured at Jewish Community Center of Greater Five Towns, Cedarhurst, NY; annual lecturer at Molloy College Institute of Lifelong Learning. Asher has lectured on Issues in Judaism Lecture Series, Hofstra University Cultural Center. He is a Liturgical leader for a monthly Oneg Shabbat at the A. Holly Patterson geriatric facility, Uniondale. Asher is a scholar-in Residence, Manhattan Sephardic Congregation; Oceanside Jewish Center; The Jewish Center of Kew Gardens Hills; assisted in presenting a Sephardic Shabbat at Temple Hillel, North Woodmere. Asher has been President of L.I. Lodge #1353, B'nai B'rith since 1983.
Married to Anna since 1970, following a thirteen-day courtship. Asher is a father of three daughters: Miriam (married to Bradley Herman, public high school teacher and assistant principal, parents of Ava-Gwen Hanna-Getel, and Jacob Stanley), Joy (admissions director and Hebrew teacher at the Park East Jewish Day School), married to Peri Avitan (parents of Raquel, and Daniel Asher), and Sara (former executive at American Arbitration Association, Columbia University M.P.A. graduate at the School of International Affairs and Public Administration), married to Lev Thayer, parents of Jacqueline-Hannah, and Alexander-Michael-Asher.
PETER NGUYEN Founder & CEO of Ad Exchange Group. With over 15 years of countless successful Internet campaigns, hours consulting for multi-million dollar companies, and seminars inspiring the next generation of business leaders, he has become as one of the foremost authorities in e-commerce and internet advertising. Peter's first venture, Advertiser360, a comprehensive educational course to help people build their own product or service online was adopted by Baylor University's entrepreneurship program.
Nguyen had first met Brodsky during the 2005 World AIDS Marathon in Gainesville. The day Peter agreed to be a Board Member of the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation was a great day for the foundation. We are counting on Peter’s web and marketing skills to raise the awareness level that we cannot allow 4,400 people to die from AIDS everyday, while 6,800 people are newly infected with the AIDS virus each day.
JOSEPH OCHIENG is the Chairman of Athletis in Nysnza Region and a member of the Road Running Commission.which establishes the rules for running Events in Kenya.
Joseph is an International Walk Judge appointed by the International Association of Athletics Federation. Currently Joseph is the only Level III walk judge in Africa. This makes him the only walk judge in the Continent who judges anywhere in the world. Joseph is also the interim Chairman of the African Racewalking Judges Committee, seeking affiliation to African Athletics Federation; National Chairman of Racewalking Committee affiliated to Athletics Kenya; Chairman of Athletics Kenya Siaya District Sub-branch; and National Chairman of Duathlon in Kenya.
The Richard M. Brodsky Foundation is extremely fortunate to have Joseph Ochieng, a man having 32 years experience in sports management, as a Board Member of the Foundation. Not only is Joseph a qualified judge of track Events bit he has the training knowledge as well. Joseph has travelled and officiated in several countries around the world; i.e., CZECH Republic (World Racewalking Cup); Manchester (Commonwealth Games); Australia (Commonwealth games); Japan (World championships in Athletics and IAAF Congress); France (World Athletics Championships and IAAF Congress); Zimbabwe (All African Games); Nigeria (All African Games); Tunisia (African Junior); Burkina Faso (African junior Champs); and Mauritius(African Championships); Mexico (World Cup Racewalking) and London Olympics (Level III International Race Walking Judge).
DR. RICHARD SARTORI
Dr. Richard Sartori graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Genoa, Italy in July 1997. He is currently a full partner at Garden City Pediatrics since 1997. He is a widower since 2012, having been married to Dr. Pauline Earle Sartori since 1992. Four adopted teenagers have the privilege of calling Dr. Sartori Dad. If ever one man was suited to a profession it would be Dr. Sartori. Maybe that’s why after seven years of organizing a World AIDS Marathon, we have our first American traveling with us to Kenya to examine orphans.
Dr. Sartori has also been published in the American Journal of Allergy and Asthma as a contributor. The article is about a family of which 2 of the 3 boys were born with SCIDS; the oldest brother donated his bone marrow for transplant and saved his two younger brothers' lives. But in the end perhaps Dr. Sartori’s greatest legacy will be, as he humbly says, “I'm just a guy from Jersey with a medical degree, no better nor worse than anyone else on this planet. We are all family." "NOT EXACTLY," says Brodsky, "I found myself crying tears of joy as I witnessed Dr. Sartori examining the first of 136 orphans he recently examined in Kenya at orphan dinner dances the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation sponsored on November 29 & 30, 2011 and 2012 in Kendu Bay, Masara, and Kisumu, Kenya at Hope Initiative, Mama Pilista Bonyo Memorial Health Care Centre and Reachout Support Centre.
DR. RICHARD L. SARTORI – 1st American to travel with Richard & Jodi Brodsky to Kisumu, Kenya, where he examined and treated 136 orphans at 4 orphan dinner dances sponsored by the Brodsky Foundation. Dr. Sartori graduated from medical school in Genoa, Italy in July 1987. He did his internship and residency in pediatrics at Winthrop University Hospital. Dr. Sartori, father to 4 teenagers, an avid runner, will be returning to Kenya to provide medical care for orphans on Nov. 28 - 30, 2015.
JASON VERITY is Vice President of Dawson Taxi which has been voted under Jason's guidance the Best Taxi company on Long Island for 2013 and 2014 by Bethpage Banks Best Of Long Island.
In 2008, Jason Verity introduced Long Island to the 1st pink taxi dedicated to help raising awareness and funds for breast cancer on Long Island. Thanks to Jason recruiting other taxi companies there are now 13 pink taxis traveling the roads of Nassau county helping to raise awareness for breast cancer on Long Island. Jason is also the sectary/ treasurer of the Long Island Taxi Association and coordinates the Association's toys drives for the past 8 years benefiting Winthrop Hospitals Cancer Center for Kids, Big Brothers Big Sisters Long Island and the John Theissen Children's Foundation. Since 2012 Jason has been the President of the St. Andrew Avellino Fathers Guild. Jason is a Baldwin Chamber of Commerce board member since 2015 and coordinates all the Baldwin chambers grand openings since 2014.
In my (Brodsky's) opinion, voting Dawson Taxi the best taxi company for 2103 & 2014 on Long Island was a sound choice.
PHILANTHROPY needs to be thought of as an ART; how can one apply paint to a canvas that will evoke an image of hope for a brighter tomorrow?