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Published on December 19, 2011

Taylor Hospital Nutrition Services Makes Donation to Komen Foundation

Ridley Park, Pa.— Christmas may not be officially here yet, but don’t tell that to the folks in Taylor Hospital’s Nutrition Services Department.

Led by Director Mike Tortella, the group of 40 people recently demonstrated their commitment to the fight against cancer by making a $500 donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. “I hate cancer and everything about it,” Tortella says. “It has taken several family members from me. In late October, I received a message from a close friend in San Diego, about a young mother, named Sharon, who is suffering from breast cancer. My friend was going to participate in the Komen Race for the Cure on her behalf, and wanted to know if I could make a donation for Sharon’s Team.”

Tortella brought the idea to his team in Nutrition Services, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. In October, which is observed as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Taylor Hospital sold “Save the TaTas” Komen cookies in the cafeteria. The staff baked them and sold them at a cost of three for $2, with $1 from every sale going to Komen. “We sold the cookies throughout the month, and when we ran out the staff kept asking us when we would be getting more,” Tortella says. “The entire staff at Taylor was excellent in supporting our cause. Some just wanted to help; others were personally affected by cancer—it touched their lives and they wanted to do something.” Tortella raised $100 from the cookie sales, then added another $400 in private donations to total $500 presented to Komen on behalf of himself and Taylor Hospital for Sharon’s Team.

“I have been involved with Komen privately for some time now,” Tortella says, “and had been wanting to sell these cookies for the last couple of years but was not able to do so until this year. We will do it every year going forward as long as I’m here. The Nutrition Services team was planning on making a general donation anyway, but when I learned about Sharon’s situation in late October we saw a young person in need and wanted to help. It gave us some focus and perspective as to what we could do for someone. There is nothing worse than having a small child have to go through life without a mom. It doesn’t matter where they live. Our team wants to keep this going every year and look to keep it local, as we are sure there is someone in need right here.”

Crozer-Keystone has received over $1 million in grants from the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the past five years. CKHS has participated in the Philadelphia affiliate’s Race for the Cure for the last several years, with a team of more than 200 people.

Back at Taylor, Tortella knows first-hand the devastating effect cancer has on the sufferer as well as everyone around them. He saw his own father succumb to the disease and says he will do his part to help eradicate cancer. Sharon’s story touched a nerve of empathy. “Every parent deserves to raise their children,” he says, “and every child needs their mom or dad.”

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