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Volunteer Leah Salmorin: From Meal Recipient to Meal Delivery Volunteer

Leah wearing her God’s Love hat which she earned after 36 hours of service

As a swimmer and financial professional, Leah’s life was transformed when, having felt a pain in her breast, she got a mammogram and learned from her doctors that she had breast cancer. She had always been diligent about going to the doctor for check-ups on her health, due to her family’s history with cancer and diabetes. When Leah received her breast cancer diagnosis, the doctors predicted she had six months to live.

Leah immediately began a regimen of treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and, ultimately, five years of hormonal therapy. Chemo and radiation exhausted her, and she could no longer shop or cook for herself. She began receiving meals from God’s Love We Deliver which helped her feel stronger. During chemotherapy, she lost interest in food – but the meals from God’s Love – especially our soups – appealed to her. These meals fueled her visits to her doctors and met her nutrition needs for her breast cancer diagnosis while addressing her diabetes.

Leah is grateful God’s Love was there to help her through one of the most difficult periods of her life. Having accessible, nutritious meals at her fingertips encouraged her to eat even when she was experiencing appetite loss due to chemotherapy.

“I was so worried about my food and didn’t have any help. The quinoa and the fresh vegetables always made me feel so good.  When I was weak, God’s Love made me strong. God’s Love gave me a helping hand when I needed it most.”

After just 6 months, Leah finished her time on our program. She felt much stronger in body and spirit from our meals and from the joy she felt when volunteers delivered.

As soon as Leah felt physical up to it, she decided to come back to God’s Love as a volunteer. She started off helping in the meal packaging department and eventually began making deliveries to clients. Leah loves paying it forward by meeting and engaging with the people receiving the same meals that once sustained her. She fondly recounted a delivery she made in the Bronx on a rainy afternoon:

“The client was amazed that I was delivering in the rain and mentioned how she had no one to cook for her. I told her ‘I’ve been through that, too. This is my time to give back.’”

But Leah’s work doesn’t stop with God’s Love. In 2016 she created her own charity, Paddle for the Cure, which she started as a volunteer group in 2013. The organization empowers survivors to manage side effects of treatment through dragon boat paddling. The tight-knit group helps breast cancer survivors get back movement through exercise, as well as emotional support and team spirit. Leah is especially proud of the Paddle for the Cure’s partnership with Elmhurst Hospital, the place where she once got her treatment.

Today, Leah volunteers regularly at God’s Love and brings in her Paddle for the Cure volunteers to work in our kitchen, too! You can find Leah, Paddle for the Cure volunteers and Miss Universe Armenia at the Positively Pink Charity Gala on February 1, where breast cancer survivors and models will “walk the runway” for a cause. Learn more at

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