Bob Badali, the newly-elected president of the Collin County Affiliate is just taking the reins and the Board of Directors are very excited to have a male president, the first in the 11 year history of the Affiliate. Like so many people, Bob has a very personal reason for getting involved in Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and for stepping up to such a huge leadership role.
After being married for two years, Bob and his wife Kim welcomed their new daughter Toni into the world in February 1995. Less than seven months later in September 1995, Kim discovered a lump in her breast. Feeling she was much too young to have breast cancer, Kim figured it was just a fibroid but tests confirmed it was cancer. She underwent surgery and six months of intensive chemotherapy. She did have three positive lymph nodes, but her prognosis was quite positive. She completed chemotherapy in April 1996 and the family moved from California to Texas in December.
In April 1997, blood test markers showed an elevation in an antigen that often shows up when breast cancer has returned. Tests showed the cancer had indeed returned and metastasized to her lungs. She started chemotherapy again in May 1997. On May 14, 1998, Kim died of the disease. She was just 36 years old and Toni had just turned three.
At first, Bob recalls, just getting out of bed was an effort. "You go through a period of shock and helplessness." A turning point came when Toni asked him "Dad, am I going to die from breast cancer one day?" Bob felt a calling to make a difference. He began to volunteer at the annual Komen Race for the Cure® in Plano. While working the race in 2001, he met Jill Tillery, the current Collin County Affiliate President, and she encouraged him to come to one of their board meetings. Bob began attending and soon after joined the board and was in charge of volunteers. After six months in this position he did such and outstanding job he was nominated for Vice President and, just 1 ½ years later, he is the new President.
Bob takes his new position very seriously. "Taking a leadership role in the Komen Foundation is an enormous responsibility. I look at my performance as President, and the evolution of this Affiliate as the lasting legacy to my wife." The Community Relations and Education Committees are undergoing significant changes already and Bob looks forward to a very productive two years. "I think growth is a key component in any organization, and Komen Affiliates are no different." In addition, Bob also considers himself very fortunate to be with a group of like-minded people. "The individuals I have met and come to know through my work with the foundation, have been a true inspiration. I feel so fortunate to be in the company of such a committed and devoted group of people."
The Collin County (Texas) Affiliate serves Collin, Denton, and Grayson counties.
Natalie de la Varre