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Volunteer of the Year - Michelle Shepherd
Michelle Shepherd has dedicated herself to improving the lives of others. In 2004, while serving on the Rochester Community Schools' Board of Education, doctors diagnosed Michelle with advanced ovarian cancer. She faced the challenges of chemotherapy and remains in remission. Following treatment, Michelle was passionate about providing support to other ovarian cancer survivors. After her school board tenure ended, Michelle became a full-time volunteer for the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA) serving in many roles including educator, event organizer and mentor to survivors. Using her education background, Michelle initiated the SPEAK program for which she trained and volunteered with other survivors to educate Michigan's communities about the early warning signs of ovarian cancer. Michelle scripted and appeared in an ovarian cancer symptom video that has been viewed statewide. To drive MIOCA's mission, Michelle has raised more than $230,000. Michelle is most proud of the connections she has made with many survivors across the state. Using her uplifting nature, Michelle has moved mountains through her volunteer work and empowered people in their darkest of times.