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CFO, partner and senior financial adviser, Summit Financial Strategies

“I always knew I was going to get cancer,” said Michael Scherer, partner with Summit Financial Strategies, the third generation of his family to have the disease. As a youngster, he watched his father and grandfather go through treatments. As a young man, he saw his dad battle and vanquish cancer a second and third time. His turn came at age 26 and he was mentally prepared.

“Watching my dad and grandfather [taught me] that life is hard,” Scherer said. “So when it became hard for me, I [understood that] I just have to go through it.” After a successful year of chemo, he has been cancer-free for nine years. Since his recovery, Scherer has been volunteering with Imerman Angels, a peer-to-peer mentorship program pairing cancer patients with survivors of the same type of cancer. Mentoring topics include what to expect with treatment, life after cancer, financial counseling, career advice, insurance coverage, and fertility issues.

To other financial advisers, Scherer counsels: “Be aware that people are in a fragile state of mind. You need to be talking to their support system about financial issues because the patient needs to stay strong and focused on fighting their illness.”

Deborah Nason