Garden City Resident Named Auxilian of the Year


Garden City Resident Named Auxilian of the Year

Vol. 14, No. 3
Fall 2004

  • Toddler Beats Rare Cancer

  • Winthrop Awarded Top National Ratings for Excellence in Obstetrics

  • Winthrop at Front Lines of Cardiac Laser Surgery

  • Garden City Resident Named Auxilian of the Year

  • Internationally Known Neurosurgeon Affiliated with Winthrop

  • NY Jets' Kevin Mawae Helps Benefit Pediatric Patients

  • Teens Donate Toys to Young Patients

  • 2004 Gala Benefit Crackles with Excitement

  • Gala Honorees

  • Space-Age Laser Therapy at Winthrop Brings New Hope to Glaucoma Patients

  • Quick Diagnosis Saves Nurse's First Child

  • Clinical Trials Center Provides Community Access to New Therapies

  • Winthrop's Orthopaedic Surgeons Among Few on L.I. to Perform Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement

  • Willing to Give?

  • Winthrop's Sports Medicine Program Adds Psychological Element to Enhance Treatment

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  • Volunteer's connection to Winthrop runs deep

    Liz Menges, Winthrop-University Hospital's 2004 Auxilian of the Year, holds a connection to the Hospital that runs deeper than her eight years as a volunteer with Twigs, a branch of Winthrop's Auxiliary.

    Winthrop was where she was born, and Winthrop is where she took her four children for X-rays, stitches, CT scans -- and not one, but two popcorn kernel-up-the-nose extractions.

    Winthrop was also where her youngest son was later diagnosed and treated for cancer.

    When Liz's oldest son was born, she decided to give up her career at a New York City advertising agency, but made a point to go to work helping others. "I wanted to be a part of volunteer activities that really meant something to the community, especially to young mothers, and the Hospital was an ideal place to focus my efforts," she explained.

    Liz Menges accepts Winthrop's Auxilian of the Year Award from Roberta Cerwinski, Chairman of the Auxiliary's Nominating Committee, and Patrick K. Long, Chairman of Winthrop's Board for Directors.
    Since joining Twigs, she has devoted time and energy to make successful a variety of highly-anticipated annual events, including the Golden Goose Gala -- a two-day fundraiser. Recently, she was given the opportunity to assume the treasurer's role, and she graciously accepted the important position.

    Selecting Liz as Auxilian of the Year was an easy decision. "As a long-time member of Twigs, Liz has demonstrated the true meaning of volunteerism, she's a role model for all those who work with her," said Ronnie Renken, President of Winthrop's Auxiliary.

    To Liz, volunteering simply means satisfaction on many levels. "I enjoy being involved in a grassroots fundraising capacity for our community's hospital, meeting and working with capable and intelligent women and learning new skills," she said. "And when my son became sick, I became even more tied to the group. I ultimately gave up my other community activities, but I kept volunteering at Winthrop because I felt it was more meaningful than ever before."

    In July of 2003, Liz found herself at Winthrop with her youngest son, Bobby. Joseph Greensher, MD, Winthrop's Medical Director and Vice Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, promptly diagnosed the five-year-old with neuroblastoma. "Like any family would, we then sought second, third and even fourth opinions," Liz explained. "However, it was Winthrop's Cancer Center for Kids where we chose to have our son treated."

    (Pictured left to right:) Twigs leaders Liz Menges, Susan Williams Furey, Debra Weber, Joy Mernone and Sue Eigl, along with the Wings of Winthrop founding leaders Bernadette Harrison, Nancy Zolezzi, Linda Coffey and Karen Wiley.

    Since then, Bobby has had nine rounds of chemotherapy, three surgeries, a ste's hospital, meeting and working with capable and intelligent women and learning new skills," she said. "Am cell transplant, and has spent nearly 100 days in the Hospital under the care of Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of Winthrop's Division of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology and Director of the Cancer Center for KIDS; Philip Scimeca, MD, Associate Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology; and Igal Fligman, MD, Division of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology. "Throughout it all, the professionalism, dedication, compassion and love that Bobby and our whole family experienced has been phenomenal," she noted.

    Bobby's situation was made more bearable thanks to a caring team of oncologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, radiologists, pain management specialists, child life specialists, nurses and even a custodian, who stopped by to chat with Bobby about Star Wars.

    Today, Bobby is a busy, active second-grader. "He's not out of the woods yet, but he is doing so well thanks to everybody at Winthrop," she explained. "And throughout that difficult time, the Auxiliary and staff were so patient and flexible with my volunteering limitations. Their support really emphasized how great Winthrop's volunteers and employees truly are."

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