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May Volunteer Spotlight - Rob Howard

Rob Howard is a California native, small business owner, and runner.

Rob’s father, Ed Howard, was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma at the height of the pandemic. The pandemic delayed the already difficult road to diagnosis. Upon Ed’s diagnosis, Rob began to educate himself. Amidst search results that terrified him, he found the Foundation. Rob quickly tapped into the resources the Foundation offers, which also gave him hope and comfort. He attended the caregiver support group and virtually attended the 9th Annual Conference. He received mentorship from CholangioConnect Director Patty Maxin. Rob shared that these resources were particularly vital to him as his dad’s advocate. He also shared that having the support of a mentor allowed him to be strong for his father.

The first Moving for the Cure campaign took place two months after Ed’s diagnosis. An avid runner, Rob signed up to complete a half marathon from his sister’s house to his parents’ house. Many people in Rob’s life had yet to learn of his father’s diagnosis. Participating in Moving for the Cure allowed Rob to share with others what his family was facing. Rob was overwhelmed by the response he received. In addition to an outpouring of support, Rob raised more than $6,000 for the Foundation. Rob’s partner, Rafael, was an integral part of the half marathon. Rafael biked to multiple spots along Rob’s route, giving him encouragement and documenting the journey. Rob’s family joined him for the last part of his run, and they finished the marathon together.

Tragically, Ed Howard passed in October of 2020. Before his passing, he celebrated 51 years of marriage with his wife, Anna Marie Howard. Rob knew he wanted to continue to be a part of the Foundation and its work. He gave himself time and space to grieve the loss of his father and celebrate his legacy. Six months ago, Rob shared that he was ready to serve as a CholangioConnect caregiver mentor. Soon thereafter, he was connected with his first mentee. The Foundation is deeply grateful that Rob shares so much of his heart with the CCF community.

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If you have any questions regarding the volunteer program, please contact Claire Condrey, Volunteer Coordinator, at claire.condrey@cholnagiocarcinoma.org

Claire Condrey