Central Region outreach educator recognized by American Cancer Society with volunteer award

The American Cancer Society recognized Tina Rodriguez, outreach educator at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institutes at MidState and The Hospital of Central Connecticut, at the Relay for Life of Meriden-Wallingford on May 19 for her seven years of volunteer services with the organization as a team captain and Event Leadership Team member. Rodriquez received the 2017 Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award for the New England Division.

Rodriguez is a regular attendee at the Relay for Life event. In the summer of 2005, Rodriguez’s sister, Lucia Mendez-Mendoza, introduced Rodriguez to the event with the MidState Hispanic Support Group. Rodriguez became a team captain for her team, “Latin Mama’s,” in 2011 in memory of Mendez-Mendoza, who lost her battle to breast cancer in January 2006. Rodriquez would later become a team captain for several hospital teams, including “Team MidState” at the Meriden-Wallingford event and “Team HOCC” at both the Southington and Bristol Relay for Life events.

“I participate because cancer has touched my family more than once. I participate in memory of my sister and father and in honor of my nephew and brother, who are both survivors.”

-Tina Rodriguez, Outreach Educator at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institutes at MidState and The Hospital of Central Connecticut

“I like to participate in Relay for Life because at these events, I can honor and commemorate all of my family and friends [who have had cancer], because these events cover all types of cancers,” said Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez has served on the Relay for Life of Meriden-Wallingford Planning Committee since 2012 and has been involved as Entertainment chair, responsible for bringing in live bands and groups to perform during the event. She traveled as far as Ridgefield, NJ, in 2013 to participate in the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides” as a team member of “Mercy’s Angels” to support a close friend who was battling breast cancer.