It would be easy to lament losing Robert and Linda Brodell, two pillars in the community who are moving to the next stages of their careers. Rather, let's use this an opportunity to lure more good people into community service.
In July, Robert Brodell, a dermatologist with a practice on East Market Street, begins a teaching position at the University of Mississippi. His wife, Linda, an ophthalmologist in the same building, is moving with him.
Trumbull County will suffer the loss of two renowned physicians. But the medical practices they built will survive with qualified replacements.
Filling their shoes, especially Robert's, as active, concerned citizens will not be so easy.
Robert Brodell, moved by personal tragedies, brought the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser to Warren in 1994. Its raving success has spawned Relays in many other communities throughout Trumbull County that collectively raise nearly a million dollars or more every year.
The 1971 Warren G. Harding High School graduate earned his medical degree and worked as a resident in Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., and the Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Hospital, in St. Louis. He returned to launch his Warren practice in 1984.
Watching lung cancer suffocate his father and pancreatic cancer kill his best friend led to Robert Brodell's passion for finding a cure. That passion is evident in all of the time and energy he puts into the local Relays for Life, which at times raise more money than any other in Ohio and the most per capita in the nation.
Cancer has touched many lives. One of cancer's fiercest enemies, Robert Brodell also has touched many lives. Here's how one person put it on tribtoday.com:
''To everyone that helped in any way to have this Relay- I thank you - this was my first year to walk the walk- and from now on I will be there as long as I can walk. Both my husband and I have survived the awful disease of cancer - and it was very emotional to join in with all the other survivors on this day. The event was run smoothly and with elegance! . . . Bless all of you that gave your time and hard work to give us a day where we could show our appreciation of life! Sincerely, Sandy and Bob Michael.''
It takes hundreds of volunteers for the local Relays to be successful, but Brodell introduced it to Trumbull County and has never stopped being the lifeblood. He's the example we can use to show others, especially young people, why community service is so important, and how to do it right.