The Silverstrom Group was Honored at the Great Oak Awards!

New Jersey Monthly hosts the Great Oak Awards to honor businesses with a deep commitment to supporting charitable institutions and social causes. Simply being nominated for this award is incredibly heartwarming because New Jersey Monthly readers are the ones that do the nominating. We were chosen from a pool of 50 finalists, constituting of all kinds of different businesses doing great philanthropic work, and we’re incredibly happy that they decided to celebrate our commitment to giving back to cancer survivors.

Every year, we at The Silverstrom Group bestow a cosmetic dental makeover worth $25,000 to a cancer survivor as part of our ongoing partnership with the American Cancer Society. This is something that has been very close to my heart because so many cancer survivors make it through their battle only to find that they’re faced with a multitude of additional health problems.

Unless you, or someone close to you, has been through chemotherapy or radiation, you probably don’t know that it can wreak havoc on the patient’s oral health. They have to deal with unrelenting dry mouth, rampant decay, and tooth loss that creates both functional and aesthetic issues. Cancer survivors have been through enough by the time they reach remission and we believe that they deserve to celebrate. Our Smile for Life Award gives them a new smile that restores their oral health and their confidence.

I will admit that I was both excited and a little bit nervous for the Great Oak Awards dinner. Philanthropy is very close to our hearts at The Silverstrom Group so everyone in the office that day was eager to find out if we were going win.  We documented that day in the video below–you can also get a sense of how a normal day is run, from start to finish, at The Silverstrom Group:

We’re honored to be able to change the lives of previous Smiles for Life Award winners, like Angela Ratterman. Angela is a two-time breast cancer survivor who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2007, after which she had a double mastectomy and then chemotherapy. She endured multiple treatment-related complications, 19 hospital admissions (some stays lasting two to three weeks), and nine months of chemotherapy.

In June 2013, three years after returning to work in the human resources field, Angela was re-diagnosed with breast cancer of the lymph nodes. She mentally and emotionally prepared herself for another round of treatments by staying optimistic and eliminating everything in her life that didn’t have a positive light. The goal was to be an example and show people how to survive, and that’s exactly what she did.

The thing we admire most about Angela is that she has always believed in giving back; she is involved in two non-profit organizations that help cancer patients. She participates in Chemo Angels, which assigns her cancer patients and senior citizens to whom she sends handcrafted cheerful, encouraging cards on a weekly basis. She also sends them care packages monthly with items that will bring a smile to their face. Angela is also a WISH Designer for 3 Little Birds 4 Life, which grants wishes to young adults battling cancer. Angela has successfully designed and planned wishes for recipients all across the United States. Because of her own challenges and struggles, she understands and is inspired by helping others with their own battles. Offering words of advice and encouragement through these avenues is one of the many ways she is an inspiration and source of strength to people along the way.

We are honored to be able to award the Smile for Life Award to people like Angela, and we are beyond thrilled the Great Oak Awards have chosen to recognize The Silverstrom Group for our work with cancer survivors.