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Two Medical Pros Lauded

On Sunday, Sept. 22 two Manhasset professionals working toward a cure for brain cancer become award recipients for the “Run for Rob” 5K Run/Walk, dedicated to the memory of Dr. Robert Bernstein, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who lost his battle to brain cancer in 2010. Dr. Michael Schulder will receive the 2013 Robert Bernstein Humanitarian Award. Nurse Practitioner Louise Ann Purcell will be given the Compassionate Care Award. Dr. Schulder has been doing extensive work in the field of brain cancer and its related category of malignant brain tumors called gliomas – of which the specific cause is unknown and identifying various risk factors has proven difficult.  

“For most people with glioblastoma, the prognosis is poor,” said Schulder. “But one thing I’ve learned from mentors of mine is that each little small step gets us closer to the goal.”  Schulder went on to explain that since the beginning of his career to now, he’s seen some dramatic changes. “When I was in medical school, many cancer patients had pretty rapid death sentences while today, patients with the same forms of cancer are living many years longer and with a good quality of life.”

Dr. Schulder unfortunately never had the pleasure of meeting the late Dr. Robert Bernstein, for whom the award is named after, but what he did know was that he was an extremely successful, respected specialist in OB-GYN, and an important person in the North Shore LIJ medical community for many years. He was a great friend to many of those people who are now my friends, he says. He succumbed to a glioblastoma brain tumor, he was in the prime of his life, career and family, and his story is an example of how a disease like this can rob someone (and their family) of what should be many great years together.  Dr. Schulder gives much credit and praise to Roz Bernstein – his wife who he is survived by, and their children.

“It’s humbling to receive this award, whatever professional projects, grants, strategies and programs I’m involved in throughout the year, it always comes down to individual people and the impact that our care and the disease has on their lives,” said Schulder. “It’s a challenge to live up to an honor like this.”

Nurse Practitioner Louise Ann Purcell has been working under Dr. Schulder’s leadership for the past two years. He says somehow she’s able to work two jobs in one – both being clinical nurse practitioner, taking care of patients with brain tumors; and being the clinical trials coordinator for brain tumor studies. “She always does her work with unflagging energy and enthusiasm,” said Schulder.

 “I look forward to a successful run and I am hoping that many people join in this worthy cause,” said Purcell. “I am honored to be receiving this award.” Monies raised for this event will benefit ongoing brain tumor research that comes out of the Feinstein Institute of the North Shore Hospital’s health system.

The Bernstein family is committed to helping the organization Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC) continue to fund research and hopefully find a cure for brain cancer.  On Sunday, VABC will honor seven more select individuals from other communities around Long Island who have shown tremendous strength. Event activities for the day include a 5K Run/Walk,  Kids’ Fun Run, family activities, entertainment and the special award ceremony.