Love for Nadine Helps Pancreatic Cancer Research

Halloween was yesterday, but today was a frightful day. At 6:00 am Saturday morning here in Philadelphia, it was 40 degrees and raining.  This is the perfect weather to stay in bed and hide under your blankets until dinner (or nature calls).  However, many of us got up, got poorly dressed for this weather, drove in the dark to Fairmount park (5 minutes from center city Philly), and all met out in a muddy field. Why did we do this? Threat of an alien invasion? Fear of a zombie apocalypse? Nope, it was “Love for Nadine”.

We are all very fortunate to work with Nadine Lubarsky here at SofterWare. She has been helping childcare centers and camps improve their operations for over 18 years, and doing it with great integrity, smiles and laughs. Her customers become her friends, and so do her co-workers. A little over a year ago, Nadine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Typical of Nadine, she is facing it head-on with great courage and 100% determination to beat it, especially with the love and support of her family, friends and co-workers. Today, Nadine is going through treatments, and she looks and feels great!  With one daughter’s wedding to plan and another daughter expecting Nadine’s first grandchild, she has no intention of missing any of the “nachas” to come (that’s Yiddish for joy, blessings, and pride, especially from ones children or grandchildren). There is a word for everything in Yiddish!

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Nadine (center right) with Nathan and Mary (two of our co-founders) flanking, and one of our Sam’s showing off our “Love for Nadine”.

That is why, for the second year in a row, we were all so happy to come out in any weather to walk and/or run for the “Love for Nadine” team in the Purple Stride Philadelphia 5K Walk and Run event to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. This is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.

Nadine led our group, all of us dressed in our purple “Love for Nadine” shirts, to the starting line. We first watched Tom Gimpel, vice president at SofterWare, and Sam Stortz, our marketing coordinator, take off in the 5k run.  Tom was definitely dressed warmer, as young Sammy was in a light jacket, his “Love for Nadine” t-shirt, and the shortest shorts I ever seen on a man.  He said they’re jogging shorts, but I think he just rolled out of bed and drove over in his underwear.  He must have been really cold too because he took off running like the wind.  His shoes were so soaked with rain water that they became lead weights, and with a mile to go, one of his sneakers flew off! Undaunted, he left it with a race volunteer and kept running with one shoe!  Not only that, our Sam Stortz won the race with a time just over 17 minutes! Pouring rain, no shoe, underwear he claims is jogging shorts, and wins! Well done Sammy! (I too am a Sam who works in marketing, and it took me an hour to walk the race in two shoes and I needed oxygen and an Egg McMuffin to make it!)

Sam kept running the loop and caught up to our group to share the great story. The good news is we eventually passed the volunteer who guarded his shoe and she gave it back to him with a big hug!  That was the kind of day it was – cold and rainy, but warm and huggy!  Nadine raised over $16,000 from her network of family and friends, well beyond her goal of $10,000, and the Philly race raised over $625,000!  Many of the SofterWare folks who couldn’t make it contributed money to help such a worthy cause.

Congratulations to all the race participants! We look forward to the day when cancer is defeated, and in particular to the day Nadine comes back to work, though the role of grand-mom babysitter may be too tempting to pass up (okay, Nadine you can just work part-time).

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Just some of the “Love for Nadine” team gathered before the race. Nadine is in the center, between her two daughters.

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