WBOC’S LEADING WOMAN: Patti Muller
BY FARAH F. JADRAN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CINDY BELL
If you have battled any type of cancer, more specifically breast cancer, what kind of attitude would you have? “I’m grateful for breast cancer,” says four-year survivor Patti Muller. According to her close friends, Patti has become a force to be reckoned with.
Patti, the Syracuse area manager for California Closets, realized years ago that things really do happen for a reason. “I couldn’t ignore how many signs there were [when I got breast cancer] and how this was meant to be,” she said. “This was God’s way of telling me, ‘you don’t pick the cause, I will pick one for you.’”
The cause chosen for Patti was the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY. While Patti became rapidly educated about her diagnosis and breast cancer in general, she also began making friends who were dealing with the same disease or who had already won the fight. Plus, “the angels of the Fund,” Carol M. Baldwin and her daughter, Beth Baldwin, were there for Patti. “The day after surgery, two days after Christmas, Carol called me,” Patti said. “All her sons were home and she could have focused on all the people visiting her for the holidays.” Instead, Carol spent an hour on the phone with Patti talking about anything and everything to keep her mind off the surgery she just underwent. “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with it,” Patti said. “That’s what Carol did and that’s what I teach my kids.”
Connecting more dots in her journey of breast cancer, Patti realized she was meeting many women and for good reason. In particular, is Cindy Bell, who is not only a photographer for Syracuse Woman Magazine (and the shooter for this page’s photo), but also, she’s a breast cancer survivor herself. During the spring of 2009, one year after Patti’s treatment, Cindy invited her to be a part of a photo shoot for a line of greeting cards Cindy was working on. Each card featured a cancer survivor as an “alter ego.” So naturally, Patti was made out to be Wonder Woman as she flew over New York City, cape and all.
Patti truly believes that her friendship with Cindy was born from what many might see as a horrible thing. In the same way, she believes that even this collaboration with Cindy for the “WBOC Leading Woman” article is meant to be. Being a part of the WBOC has been another blessing for Patti (and Cindy, too) because of the endless channels of support the organization provides, not just for your business but for personal things like a breast cancer diagnosis.
With the help of her friends and colleagues in the WBOC and many other dedicated women in the community, Patti is ready to continue her destined mission with the second annual Shop, Spa & Style fundraiser for the CMB Fund. This year’s event has been many months in the making and it’s going to be fabulous, much like its creator. Patti has made arrangements for this year’s event to take place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11 (10.11.12, yes, even the date is creative!), at the Palace Theatre in Syracuse. Tickets are $50 each and this includes great food, shopping, select spa treatments and a fashion show that will feature breast cancer survivors and their family members. Ticket information can be found on Facebook or by calling (315) 701-4382.
The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for 20 years. Now, through the end of October, new members can join the WBOC with a $20 discount on the membership fee. For information on how to become a member, visit www.wboconnection.org.