United for a Cure

Operating Engineers Local 150 United for a Cure

Organized Labor rose to the calling and helped raise $152,000 to support early detection and pancreatic cancer research during the July 21 United for a Cure fundraiser held at Operating Engineers Local 150. Joe Borrelli and Michael Goldberg, both fighting pancreatic cancer, were the honored guests. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

View videos from the United for a Cure event by going to the Fox Valley Labor News YouTube channel
To learn more about Goldberg Weisman Cairo, go to Goldberg Weisman Cairo’s website
To learn more about the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, go to the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation’s website

COUNTRYSIDE — Joe Borrelli and Michael Goldberg, supporters and fighters of organized labor, received an outpouring of support and love July 21 when they were guests of honor for the United for a Cure fundraiser — benefiting the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Borrelli and Goldberg found themselves diagnosed, only months apart from each other, with pancreatic cancer in the fall of 2015.

Borrelli is Sr. Vice President at Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, while Goldberg is the founding partner of the injury law firm Goldberg Weisman Cairo (GWC).

“I’ve never known anyone in my life with this diagnosis, and now, I have two close friends of mine with the same diagnosis,” explained GWC partner Louis Cairo to a room of 800 guests at Operating Engineers Local 150.

Friends of both Borrelli and Goldberg wanted to help — but what do you do? “We decided to rock the house for [these] two, great men,” Cairo said.

Operating Engineers Local 150 United for a Cure

Goldberg Weisman Cairo partner Louis Cairo was a driving force in organizing the United for a Cure July 21 fundraising event, which was hosted by the Illinois AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago & Cook County Building Trades and GWC Law Firm. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

“We decided to have an evening to celebrate the wonderful lives and accomplishments, and the love and respect that Joe Borrelli and Michael Goldberg have from the people in this room. That’s why we’re here.”

The other reason was to raise money to benefit the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation in order to find ways of early detection and a cure. Right now, there are no test for early detection.

Operating Engineers Local 150 United for a Cure

Joe Borrelli, left, and Michael Goldberg were honored during a fundraising event July 21 for the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. Both men were diagnosed in the fall of 2015. With no test for early detection, money raised will go towards research for early detection and finding a cure. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

“With no test available, the only way pancreatic cancer is discovered is by luck,” Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Executive Director Lynda Robbins explained. The event raised a whopping $152,000 for the cause.



Borrelli addressed the crowd from a wheelchair, a precautionary measure, insisted upon by his doctor. “When I heard the word ‘cancer,’ from my doctor, I don’t think I heard anything after that. It’s a journey you have to take.”

Along his journey, Borrelli reached out to Goldberg for knowledge and insight on his personal journey with pancreatic cancer.

In his capacity at Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, Borrelli is a relationship manager for several unions, allowing him to be extensively involved with organized labor. During his chemotherapy, he said he was amazed at the amount of help, support and respect he has received from unions.

“The unions do so much charitable work that nobody ever finds out about, or knows about — nobody ever seems to care about,” he said.

That night, Borrelli cared. As did Goldberg, who acknowledged the many charitable causes that organized labor helps fund.



“Collectively, unions are the most charitable groups of people on the planet. Union leaders are just hard working, men and women dedicated to making people’s lives better,” he explained.

Describing himself as a half-glass full kind of guy, Goldberg stressed laughter can help make you better. Stay positive, and never give up.