Each year, the Binaytara Foundation (BTF) celebrates the work of those striving to improve access and reduce disparities in cancer care, both in the US and globally. This year, we honored Jody Stroh as our 2022 Volunteer of the Year for her selfless work on the foundation’s goals. With a background in pharmaceutical sales, Jody met BTF founders Dr. Binay Shah and Tara Shah in July of 2021 and was drawn to the foundation’s mission of addressing disparities in cancer treatment.
“For a number of reasons, volunteering won out as the best way for me to contribute to the foundation and make a difference by supporting their work,” says Jody.
“My background includes working as a development officer at Seattle University, account manager at an advertising agency, corporate communications at Microsoft, and oncology sales in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. Each of these job skills has afforded me the opportunity to help out with the Foundation, whether the need was in development and creating copy for donors, providing marketing feedback on banners and advertising, or helping with registration at medical conferences, especially with industry sponsors. So my volunteer experience with BTF has been quite varied, which I love. You can wear a lot of hats at this organization, and each role is as fulfilling as the next.”
Jody adds that she enjoys the rewarding experience of making a difference in her work for the foundation.
“One of the things I find the most rewarding about volunteering for BTF is that my help is valued. The Shahs are so grateful for all of the help that it just makes you want to help more. They have an uncanny ability to make you feel like you are the most important person at the table and have been brought into the fold of the Foundation’s mission, vision, and values. They are the most positive, caring, brilliant, and upbeat people I have ever met. No dream is too big for Binay, and he just keeps on going forward, not being deterred by any adversity. It truly has been an honor to work to support the efforts of both Binay and Tara.”
Volunteer Opportunities at Binaytara Foundation
Jody encourages others to consider doing volunteer work with BTF if they are looking for an opportunity to help.
“The Foundation is always open to a great volunteer. If you have a particular skill in working with the public, working with donors, running down errands, or answering phones, if you are a confident, smart, and kind-hearted person, you could have a supporting role in the mission of eliminating healthcare disparities in the US and worldwide,” she says. “If you are someone who cares about your fellow humans and understands that not everywhere in the world do people have such wonderful access to cancer care as we do here in the US, and you want to change that, then sharing your passion here at the Binaytara Foundation would be a match made in heaven.”
Advice on Volunteering from the Volunteer of the Year
When asked about the most important qualities a volunteer can have, Jody had this to say:
“I think the most beneficial qualities in a volunteer are commitment #1, followed by enthusiasm and willingness to help where needed and to be open to learning new things. I’m always reminded of the line from the 1989 Kevin Costner film, ‘Field of Dreams’ – ‘If you build it, they will come.’ There is no dream too big for the Shahs. The BTF Cancer Clinic – completed and running – and BTF Cancer Hospital – we broke ground in April of 2022 – are perfect examples of this coming to fruition. So, if you have a big heart, support our mission, vision, and values, and you’re willing to make a commitment, you just might be the perfect volunteer for the Binaytara Foundation.”
Jody Stroh was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award at the Binaytara Foundation’s annual gala dinner on April 30. More information about volunteering with BTF can be found on our Volunteer Page.
About Binaytara Foundation:
Binaytara Foundation is a global cancer non-profit dedicated to improving access to cancer care in the United States and abroad through education and innovative program models that break down barriers and advance best practices in hematology and oncology. Binaytara Foundation’s major projects include hematology and oncology conferences, and the establishment of a cancer hospital in Nepal.