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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Each month, the Brevard Association of Human Services (BAHS) presents a volunteer with the Rainbow Award, to honor his or her service to the community. BAHS realizes that volunteers are essential to the success of many programs, and giving the Rainbow Award is one way to give back to those who unselfishly give of themselves.

Doris Andera, who works tirelessly with the American Cancer Society (ACS), had no idea that she was being invited to the October TRIAD meeting to be publicly praised for what she considers, “an act of love.” Andera, originally from Minnesota, has lived in Titusville for three years, and said, “I was so surprised. To be honest with you, I’m so new to the community, that I didn’t really know what it meant. I’m honored they felt I deserved it.”

Prior to winning the Rainbow Award, she knew little of BAHS or TRIAD. She only knew that when she retired from her duties as an oncology nurse, she could not stay away from the medical field. In fact, her husband, who is an aerospace engineer, has lived in Florida much longer than she has. She chose to remain with the job she loved dearly, so volunteering to work with the American Cancer Society was an easy transition for her.

Darlene Kerby, staff member of the ACS, said of her work with the Healthcare Professional Outreach, “Doris has been an integral part of the program. She has taken the program to new levels, and works independently to accomplish her goals. Through her outstanding efforts, she has built trusting and lasting relationships with the staff at Cape Canaveral Hospital, doctors’ offices, oncology treatment facilities, and patients. Her compassion and enthusiasm to spread the word about the American Cancer Society and what it has to offer is extraordinary. Doris is a role model for other volunteers.”

She is on the nominating committee of the North Board, Team Development of the Relay for Life in Titusville, the Florida Board of Directors, and an area delegate director for Brevard County to the Florida Division. As if that weren’t enough, Mrs. Andera also sits on the Colorectal Cancer Control Committee for Florida Division, and attends committee and man-to-man meetings in Caper Canaveral, Wuestoff, and Titusville.

Kerby said, of Andera, “Whatever she does, she wraps her arms around it and makes it her own,” which may explain why she took on extra responsibilities at the 2004 Cattle Baron’s Ball and made the silent auction one of the best ever.

“This year Doris was invited to our Committee Interest Meeting,” said ACS staffer Christina Albert. “When no-one would step up to chair the logistics committee, Doris cheerfully said, "I'll do it!" Since that day she has taken the position to new heights.”

Carmen Assad, another staff member of ACS, said, “I could never say enough about Doris! I remember so clearly the first day I met her, since it was one of the most entertaining hours of my entire life! After just that one day, I was in awe of her, on so many different levels! She has more energy than anyone that I have ever met before, and I am so fortunate now to have her as the Team Development Chair for the Titusville Relay. Between her work with Cattle Barron's and Relay, I don't know how she finds the time to be a part of so many different ACS Boards, or her involvement with our many patient services, but I am so glad that she does!”

Kelly Haskins first met Andera last October at the Making Strides for Breast Cancer event. Since she’d been a nurse, and was willing to work in any function at the event, Haskins, on staff with the ACS, asked her to help with the medical tent. Doris manned her tent, helped out wherever needed, and signed up to be the nurse again for this year’s 2005 event,” said Haskins. Doris then asked what other events we had coming up that she could help out with. From there, her volunteer career with ACS began.”

Andera, who was offered a position to teach at the Florida hospital in Orlando, chose to volunteer, adding to the sense of admiration and awe the ACS staffers feel toward her.

She humbly states,” I do what I do, and I don’t feel worthy, but I am thrilled.”

To learn more about the BAHS Rainbow Award, or to nominate a volunteer, send an email to or call 727-0800.