529 Lake Avenue St. James NY 11780 • 631-360-CURE (2873)
529 Lake Avenue St. James NY 11780
On June 10, 2002, the neurologist said those four words, “You have Multiple Sclerosis”, and it was a day I will never forget. My first thoughts were, “This is not happening to me, who will raise my daughters and how am I going to be a mother. How will I continue to work and do what I love?” My world ended as I knew it.
I had heard of multiple sclerosis. I knew that this disease was what Annette Funnicello was diagnosed with, but I didn’t really know what it was. I had also discovered that I had been experiencing MS symptoms since 1997.
The following several months, I experienced the lowest moments of my life. I remember thinking that I wish I could fast forward my life, so that it would be over with. If it were not for my children and my family that loved me and needed me, I am sure that I would have ended my life, but I knew that I could not let them down.
I awoke one morning and it was clear that I had a choice. I could lay there and wait for all the things that could possibly happen to me or I can begin living my life the best I knew how and make everyday count despite this dreadful diagnosis.
I chose the later. I began my quest to find out everything I possibly could about this disease. It was determined to try to steal my life, not by physical disability, but by robbing my life through fear and worry.
Through my personal research I sought out the experts. I traveled to Europe, Canada and Naples, Florida. I read many articles and books. Through the years I have spoken with hundreds of people that have been diagnosed. I shared my knowledge from my experiences. Although this disease has no cure yet, I believe that one day there will be one. Until then, we need to educate people that it is important to help yourself by doing everything you can to be healthy.
This idea has been my inspiration to start Cure MS Foundation of NY, Inc. in 2011. I believe that the world needs to know that many more people have MS than current data indicates. I believe that people diagnosed with MS need to know and understand of all the treatment options available. I believe that everyone should have access to treatments that are proven to help and “do no harm”.
I believe with all my heart that God gives us the strength to do all things that are meant for good. He has given me the strength. I know that when people come together for a common goal, that goal will be reached. I pray that one day there will be a cure for Multiple Sclerosis and our children will never hear this diagnosis with fear. Together we can accomplish this and that day will surely be a Beautiful Day.
Filomena Lombardi was born in Naples, Italy. She is one of eight children that immigrated to the United States in 1968 along with her parents. In 1976, Mamma Lombardi’s, the original family pizzeria opened and Filomena began to acquire the experience needed to operate a business at a very young age. Filomena graduated from Sachem High School in 1986 in the top 5%. She was a graduate of Dowling College in 1988 earning a B.B.A. in Accounting. The only one of her family members to accomplish this. She served as President of the Accounting Society and went on to earn her CPA. In 1994, she returned to the family business, acting as CFO. Over the past 18 years she has been instrumental in growing the Lombardi Family Enterprises of successful businesses.
Today, with a workforce of more than 500 employees, Filomena has played an integral part in creating the policies and procedures for all of the Lombardi Corporations in addition to managing the financial well being.
In 2011, Filomena, along with her husband, acquired the Long Island development rights to a popular California franchise, Jamba Juice. Their plans are to develop several stores on Long Island. The first of these opened in Stonybrook in 2012.
Throughout the years Filomena has been very active with helping the surrounding communities and businesses. Her interaction with business leaders and public officials confirmed the importance of involvement in the community.
Always believing that first one has a time to learn, a time to earn, then, a time to return, philanthropy is very close to her heart.
With her intuitiveness to grow businesses, she created a Foundation to help raise awareness and funds for research. Cure Multiple Sclerosis Foundation of New York was created in 2012 and has raised in excess of $250,000 in it’s early infancy. Additionally in 2012, she opened an adjunct to the Foundation, MS CUREiosity’s Closet, a high end consignment boutique in St James whose proceeds go to the foundation. The Boutique has proven to be a community asset, where locals come to shop and learn what MS is and how they can help get closer to a cure. In 2013, the Foundation was recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Imagine Award under the category of Social Entrepreneurism.
Filomena is supportive of many organizations and charities. She serves as a council member of the Stonybrook Development Council since 2009. Her deep admiration for this great institution and personal experiences guided her. In 2012, she served on the search committee for the newly appointed Stonybrook Medicine’s CEO. She serves as trustee on The Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages in Stonybrook. Additionally, she is a board member of the AHRC Suffolk Foundation and serves on the advisory board for the Center for Cost Effective Government. In recognition of her achievements and her dedication to community, she was named Woman of the Year in Business by the Village Times Herald in 2013.
Filomena has been a Suffolk County resident for 44 years and resides in the Village of Head of the Harbor with her husband, Scott Borland and her two daughters and stepson, Victoria, Christina and Blake.