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CCF Volunteer Program

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January's Volunteer Spotlight - Nirma Patel

Nirma enjoys family time with her husband, two boys and two family dogs.

Nirma resides in New Jersey and is a busy mom of two handsome boys with her amazingly supportive husband. She is currently still adjusting to working remotely as her family balances remote schooling with both boys on hybrid schedules. She has worked for Johnson and Johnson for almost 17 years and enjoys her job in the Pharmaceutical Unit. For hobbies, Nirma enjoys cooking, a talent she learned from her mother, and trying new things.

Nirma’s mother fell ill on Christmas Eve of 2016 and generally did not feel well at all during the holidays and through the new year. In early January of 2017, she found herself in the emergency room after jaundice appeared. She was admitted to the hospital and numerous tests were initiated. CT scans showed something on her liver, but at the community hospital level suggestions were made to take her elsewhere. A second hospital, a stent procedure all while trying to get her stable, a transport to a third hospital with weeks passing by, yielded multiple negative biopsies. Unable to operate with a stage four diagnosis, another stent procedure was performed yet kidney failure quickly ensued. Nirma’s mother passed on February 27th, only weeks after experiencing her first symptom.

Nirma knew she had to do something for others fighting cholangiocarcinoma. She was constantly asking herself, “how could we have known nothing about this horrific cancer?” and “how did this happen so fast?” Nirma was raised to give back and make life easier for others. Just a day before her mother’s passing, Nirma’s mom wanted to donate her beautiful long hair, as she was always thinking of others. Nirma knew immediately following her mother’s death that she would grow out her own hair to donate in lieu of her mother. With fundraising on her mind, she eventually found the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation online in researching ways to give back and it felt right. That summer she and her family planned a 5K race and designed t-shirts. With 30 people supporting their first race, they fundraised $9,102 and were matched in full by Johnson and Johnson’s Matching Gift Program which matches employee gifts 100% up to $10,000. She has gone on to plan three more races, each getting larger and involving more partnerships with community and local vendors supplying coffee and bagels for participants. Nirma has contributed, with support from Johnson and Johnson, over $85,000 in funds for finding a cure. In addition to the numerous hours of event planning, Nirma has also found time to provide CCF with social media content and created videos to support other CCF campaigns, like Candles for the Cure. It is a great honor and privilege to recognize Nirma Patel as Volunteer of the Month.

New Volunteer Opportunities

Cindy Thomas is the Foundation's Volunteer Coordinator.

Cindy received a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University and has enjoyed working with the Foundation since June of 2018 as a part time staff member.

If you have any questions regarding the Foundation's volunteer programs, please contact Cindy at cindy.thomas@cholangiocarcinoma.org.

cindy