Chelsea (Ozeri) Madia, LCSW, was referred to us in February 2019 by Karen Kelley who is a former staff member and longtime friend of the LRG. I remember welcoming Chelsea to the LRG and at that time I knew Chelsea would be a quiet storm within our community. It was during our first call she noted that she wanted to volunteer and give back to the LRG. Within a few months, Chelsea became our LRG patient of the month in May 2019 because of how much she advocated for her own care and she became an immediate overall positive influence in many GISTers’ lives. Since her diagnosis, she began viewing life differently and started eating healthier, meditating/exercising more regularly, and choose to live more consciously with what she wanted to do with each day of her life. Chelsea’s advice was to simply live more intentionally and that she has been doing every day.
It was also in May of 2019 that Chelsea received the Wolf Strong Award during LRG’s first GIST Do It Walk New Jersey for increasing awareness about GIST in New York, advocating for her own and others’ care, and raising over $10K towards GIST research. It was during that walk that Chelsea met others and continued to be a strong voice within the LRG community. Her voice and presence at the GIST Do It Walk were just the beginning demonstration of this GISTers fortitude and philanthropy.
Chelsea’s volunteer endeavors didn’t stop there. In April of 2020 when the COVID pandemic was in full swing, Chelsea reached out to me and asked if she could do more utilizing her professional expertise as a licensed social worker, GIST wisdom and overall approach to living life more consciously. It was then that we decided to offer the LRG community a weekly support group to GISTers to which Chelsea would lead for the next year and a half. This was a tough time for so many and especially GISTers who were facing fears about COVID and being unable to see their doctors for scans, treatments, and surgeries due to COVID patients spikes in hospitals. Chelsea naturally gives with her whole heart and in any way that she can to people who need it. She is a smart and funny facilitator and an overall great human being.
Thank you so much, Chelsea,
for all that you have done for the LRG,
& our community of GISTers & loved ones over the years!
There are no words to truly describe our gratitude.