Tonawanda News — One has a laser-tight focus on an issue that has affected the health and lives of thousands of women in Western New York and around the world.
The other has volunteered in so many ways for so many groups and agencies in the area that she hesitates to give a list or a number.
But both Niagara County women have done so much as volunteers in Western New York that they’ve been chosen as two of the first five recipients of the Women Who Move the City honor started this year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County.
Kathleen Maxian of Pendleton and Lindsay Brick of North Tonawanda will be honored at an event Thursday at the Pearl @ The Webb in Buffalo. Alicia Bartsch, director of community relations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County, said they both stood out from the “overwhelming” amount of nominations solicited from the community for the first awards. From those nominations, a committee selected five honorees.
Nominees didn’t have to be volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bartsch said. The organization started the awards to honor all the women in Western New York who give back to their communities.
“Although we’re Big Brothers Big Sisters, we’ve always had more Big Sisters ... so we have a really great group of women we work with,” she said.
Maxian, who is originally from Lewiston, is the president and co-founder of Western New York Ovarian Cancer Project, which seeks to provide education and resources about the disease.
Her fight began when she was diagnosed with the cancer in 2009 — and branched a bit when she discovered that a genetic test (for breast or ovarian cancer predilection) her sister took after being diagnosed with breast cancer wasn’t as thorough or current as a more up-to-date test that wasn’t made as widely available. (Both tests were developed by Myriad Genetics, a corporation that held a patent on the genes that cause breast cancer.)